in the press
Meet Olti Vertpoi and Saul Orozco of V&O Salon in Newbury StreetBostonVoyager Staff
May 15, 2017
Today we’d like to introduce you to Olti Vertpoi and Saul Orozco.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Olti and Saul. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Olti Vertopi- “I originally trained in Europe as a hairstylist, and moved to the U.S. from Albania 20 years ago. After arriving in Detroit, Michigan, I didn’t know any people and spoke very little English. As luck would have it, I became friends with an Albanian salon owner who gave me a job while I earned my U.S. cosmetology license. Eventually I opened my own salon in Michigan, and it was very successful. After nine years I relocated to Boston after visiting the city and falling in love with it. Once in Boston, I worked as stylist at Safar Boston for a short time. When a salon became available close by, V&O Salon was established.
Saul Orozco- “In 1987 I moved to the United States from Guatemala. My mother, myself, and 3 siblings lived in California for about six years before coming to Boston. I had a difficult upbringing and ended up in foster homes and shelters during my teen years. After graduating high school I studied business but quickly realized that my talent was on the creative side, so I earned my cosmetology license. Over the next 3 years I worked at different salons across Boston until I settled down at Safar Coiffure on Newbury St where I worked my way up and became the salon educator and a creative director. During my 12 years with Safar, I traveled to Miami and London where I received advanced certifications from the Vidal Sassoon Academy. I also received advanced training from Toni&Guy in NYC. Every day my humble upbringing fuels my desire to be the best at what I do. Constantly working to create a better future for myself and my family gave me the confidence to establish V&O Salon.
“Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Opening a new salon on Newbury is risky because there are already over 50 salons in the immediate area. So competition is fierce and customers demand top-quality services. The location at 168 Newbury Street became available very suddenly and it was too good to refuse. We actually got the keys to the salon 2 days before our doors opened! We started with nothing but our experience, shears, and our drive to succeed. We are not just salon owners–we are also artists. Our salon reflects our backgrounds, professional training, and who we are. We will never stop learning and improving V&O.
V&O Salon – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
V&O Salon is the result of two people who came from very modest backgrounds and worked hard to achieve their own American Dream in Boston. We are well known for haircutting expertise, both women’s and men’s. We are also known for our stunning balayages, a popular technique of hair coloring where color is hand painted onto the hair. Clients also appreciate our outgoing personalities, personalized recommendations about the best look, and compassion towards our clients. We truly go above and beyond to make anyone feel at home.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Olti Vertopi – “Other than establishing V&O on Newbury, the proudest moment of my career was when I opened my first salon in Michigan. Coming to the U.S. with little English and nothing but my knowledge and prior training, it meant the world to me to own my own business and to have it be so successful.
“Saul Orozco- “The proudest moment of my career was when I traveled to the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London. Not a lot of people know this, but the Vidal Sassoon academy is the “Harvard” of hair styling. I was invited to attend after a vetting process, and it’s very intensive. It was also exciting to have my career take me to a place I always wanted to visit. Before my career as a hairdresser and stylist, traveling to London seemed an impossible dream to me. My career has opened doors for me that I never knew existed. “