NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Salon owner Pio Imperati took a chance and hired hairstylist Kathy Moura right out of technical high school 15 years ago. It has worked out so well that Imperati sold her his venerable New Haven, Connecticut, business for $1.
"She's a good hairdresser, a good barber, she's very nice," Imperati told the New Haven Register about the sale of Pio of Italy Hair Studio. "I sold it to her for $1 so we would remain friends."
While Moura will pay rent to Imperati, she avoids a charge that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a salon for the equipment, supplies and clientele.
Imperati, 79, is now working there as an independent contractor.
"Eventually, it was a dream of mine come true to be able to turn the salon over to someone worthy," he said.
Imperati has been in business for about 56 years in various locations and forms, beginning with a barbershop in 1965, according to the newspaper.
Moura, 32, recalled that when she finished school, "no one would hire me because I didn't have any experience." She called a teacher for help and was given Imperati's phone number. He and his wife gave her a tryout and eventually hired her.
"We grew like a family. ... That's how he treats everyone who walks into the salon," Moura said of Imperati. "Any person who works here, he wants you to flourish and become something of yourself."