THE STORY OF PICASSO'S
Picasso’s - A name that has been a gold standard of beauty in the Niagara Region for 28 years.
The name for this brand was envisioned while researching the concept for a new salon and spa that would bring a change to the beauty experience in Niagara. In the process of the brand being created, many elements needed to be fused together. Those elements included interior design, education, development of a team of dynamic individuals, and most importantly, creating a unique experience for guests. Inspired by design and creativity in his own work, Mario Arghittu was always attracted to the famous work of Pablo Picasso. He was intrigued with how he could change his expression of art throughout his career. The name for this brand was actualized over 30 years ago while Mario Arghittu was at the Albright Knox Gallery. During his visit there, he came across two paintings by Picasso. One painting was titled Lacoufier and the other, Woman Dressing Her Hair. It was decided that the flagship salon would be designed as an Art Gallery of Hair, and thus the name and interior designs all began to fall into place. The location of this exciting project was chosen to be at 15 Welland Avenue in St. Catharines. This historic building had many names and purposes over the years, once even as the headquarters for Brock University, but now as the concepts began to come together, and the renovations and designs were in their final stages, it would become a landmark for beauty in Niagara. Today that same building is still the home of Picasso's Salon and is now also the new location of Paula's Elegant Bride.
As the opening of the Salon Spa drew near, the dynamic team of individuals had been chosen to showcase their passion, motivation, and workmanship. Throughout the years, a variety of awards, trophies, nominations and honourable mentions were accumulated within the Salon. As the brand began to grow, the dedication to education and leadership grew stronger and expanded. It was a short time after this that a pebble was thrown into an ocean of hope. That pebble caused a ripple effect that allowed Picasso’s to delve into other ventures: A second location in the Pen Centre. This was a completely opposite concept than that at 15 Welland Avenue. The Pen Centre location gave its new staff an excellent opportunity to expand after finishing a very in-depth training program taught by the Picasso’s educators.
Seeing the success at the Pen Centre gave the company an excellent opportunity to continue building. More opportunities arose to further the brand, including the opening of their own beauty retail store. While working with numerous hair products over the years, there was a specific line of products that caught the attention of Mario. He noticed that this particular line had begun to further Picasso’s expansion into the world of beauty. This product line, which originated from Parma, Italy, was created by a company called Davines. Davines offers a unique creation of sustainable beauty products that utilize natural and locally sourced ingredients and includes a variety of superior skin and hair care. The affiliation between Picasso's and Davines was the link that completed the brand of Picasso's.
In 2007, Mario, alongside his friend Chris Hernder, from Hernder Estate Wines, discussed what options they had to be able to create a way to give back to the community. Agreeing that there were many ways to help, they felt that one area of growing concern was the building of a new Hospital and Cancer Centre. Therefore, in 2007 they joined together to create a foundation called The Hernder Picasso Foundation. This foundation, to date, has committed $1,000,000 to the new Walker Family Cancer Centre. Mario, Angel, and Chris along with their commended team organize a golf tournament, a Halloween Party, and other fundraising events each year, to support the hospital.
As 2011 approached, one of the largest changes was about to occur. Mario, being the youngest of three partners, had known that a time would come when his partners of over 20 years, Frank and Joe Gallo, would be retiring. With 3 salons already in motion, the Pen Centre approached the partners on building another location in the mall. With this in mind, Mario felt that it would be the perfect opportunity to create a new location and merge his existing businesses into one. The new spot designed in the Pen Centre, inspired by Davines and Italian Renaissance concepts, became Lavo Salon.
After Frank and Joe retired, Mario followed through with his plan to unite all of his businesses into one. This produced his newest concept, Lavo by Picassos. Lavo began to work solely alongside Davines, making the salon a unique Davines concept boutique. It offered privacy, tranquillity, and an intimate experience, all within a mall setting. It may have been situated within a busy shopping centre, but the design and décor made the clients feel otherwise.
In 2017 the original landmark building at 15 Welland Avenue once again became the home of Picasso's Salon. After being completely renovated, the 3 story, 6500 square foot building would showcase the newest concept by Mario. The building would also prepare to become the new home of a Spa, Davines Retail Boutique, and Paula's Elegant Bride.
Mario, having been in business for 30 years and a hair designer for over 35 years, has experienced and seen many changes throughout his career- from trends, to staff, to clients. However, the one thing that has not changed is his passion and unwavering determination and commitment to providing utmost satisfaction to every guest. At Picasso's, we continuously strive to offer our very best, and we aim to do so for many years to come.