ANN RUPPENSTEIN/TOWN CRIER
Davide Palmieri, left, and Kiril Mumdjiev at their One2One Studio.
Growing up in communist Bulgaria Kiril Mumdjiev got his start in the hair industry when he was 15 years old. Before settling in Toronto, he worked in South Africa and Vancouver, honing his skills in television and pageants.
“I worked on Miss Universe as well, we used to do all those beauty pageants and it’s actually lot of fun,” he says from the newly opened One2One Studio on Eglinton Avenue W. near Avenue Road. “We traveled around, always very exotic places. There was quite a bit of changes in South Africa, politically and economically, so I decided to move and I really liked Canada.”
Once in Toronto, Mumdjiev spent a year at Civello before taking on a 12-year stint at Holts Salon and Spa, where he met his business partner and co-owner of the studio, Davide Palmieri.
Palmieri grew up helping out at his father’s hair salon and by the age of 17 had already acquired his hairdresser’s license. At 21, he went to study and work in Rome to expand his knowledge and experience. After working at various salons upon returning to Toronto, he most recently was at Holt Renfrew for 15 years, 13 of which were spent managing the salon and spa.
“We did everyone from young and old, there’s a lot of star power, there’s a lot of influential people that go there and it’s a great clientele, they’re great people,” says Palmieri, who garnered a-list celebrities, CEO’s, producers and Olympic athletes as clients. “I got into management because I wanted to do things my way and it’s very hard to do things your way if you don’t own your own salon and you don’t have the power to make changes, which is another reason why I wanted my own thing.”
In addition to winning many colour technique awards during his tenure, Palmieri also led the team through the makeovers on the second season of Canada Next Top Model.
As for the name of the studio, it was actually inspired by a box of hair colour but also symbolizes their partnership, they say.
“It says one to one on the boxes, which means equal parts because it’s one part colour, one part developer,” says Mumdjiev, who says he enjoys working with his actresses clients to create looks for the roles they’re taking on. “So we’re equal but as well when we are with the clients we are one to one, it’s me and you. We interact and we’re creating something together, consulting, finding out what you’d like so it’s one to one.”
After working at Yonge and Bloor for over a decade they weren’t initially thinking of moving as far north to open their studio but were sold on the space after one visit.
While Palmieri specializes in colour, and studied with renowned colourists like Louise and Daniel Galvin, Mumdjiev does styling, colour, cutting and makeup services.
One2One Studio, which opened in October, will be launching their spa level this month, which includes facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, massages and Microdermabrasion.
Although things are now running smoothly, they admit their chairs, which massage customers while they get their hair washed, were still in boxes the night before their soft opening.
“People are so fantastic in this area like not only the customers but also the store owners,” Palmieri says. “It’s nice to have a sense of community in the city because you don’t get that a little bit further down. Everyone’s so busy and that’s what I expected because that’s what I was used to. I was really shocked and taken aback about how welcoming and nice the community is, the people are, our neighbours, it’s been a joyful surprise.”
“When we opened a lot of owners from restaurants and stores, they all came in and said welcome to the neighbourhood,” Mumdjiev adds.