Raised on the notion that anything is possible with a little audacity and a lot of hard work, Patrice Vinci, owner of the award-winning Patrice Vinci Salon, was prepared to put in the time and effort to build a successful business. And it’s safe to say she nailed it: This year, Vinci celebrates the 10th anniversary of her salon on the high-end, highly competitive landscape of Newbury Street.
“I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so I had a lot of inspiration around me,” she tells Exhale. “Many of my family members own and operate their own businesses. I always liked the idea of starting with nothing and watching it grow into something unique and interesting.”
And grow it has. When she opened her salon in 2008, Vinci had five employees. Today, she oversees a team of around 30 and her business has been locally (multiple Best of Boston awards) and nationally recognized, receiving accolades from the likes of beauty heavy hitters Allure, ELLE, and more.
I got into the business at a young age with the encouragement of my grandmother. She was before her time and encouraged us to find something we loved and make a business out of it.
A native of Everett, Vinci was raised in an Italian-American family where entrepreneurship—and hairdressing, in particular—was a regular part of life. She counts hair industry veterans and salon owners among her family members, including her aunt who was one of the first female salon owners in Everett and has been in business for 57 years. “She was a trailblazer and an inspiration to me as child,” Vinci says.
It’s clear strong women run in Vinci’s family. Where a woman-owned salon on Newbury Street was virtually unheard of once upon a time, Vinci was inspired early in her career by the female role models in her life.
“I got into the business at a young age with the encouragement of my grandmother,” says Vinci. “She was before her time and encouraged us to find something we loved and make a business out of it.”
“My grandmother presented it as the American dream.” Vinci says, who was inspired to work her way up—and remain focused on her greater goal. Starting out as an assistant on Newbury Street, Vinci trained and worked at some of the top salons at the time. She also found work as a freelance stylist in the entertainment industry, traveling to New York and Los Angeles, before opening her namesake salon in 2008.
I think in the beginning there were some naysayers, people that maybe thought I wouldn’t make it.
Naming her salon after herself was considered a daring move when Vinci launched, especially on lower Newbury Street, where most of the salons were male owned and operated—but she didn’t let criticism or negativity detract from her focus.
“I think in the beginning there were some naysayers, people that maybe thought I wouldn’t make it,” she says. “I think I was one of the first females to be a sole proprietor and name the salon my own name. Some thought that was pretty bold, but I worked really hard for it. If I heard any negativity, I just kept showing up and working, minding my own business.”
“I am in a very competitive business, especially on Newbury Street, where there are so many salons in a small area,” Vinci notes. “Working on this street, I learned very quickly that the strong survive. I think at times I felt unsupported or judged for my dreams, but I never let that stop me. I just kept believing in myself and gravitated toward people that believed in me.”
Vinci also credits her success in part to her willingness to hear what others have to say. “I have many mentors in my family and close friends, and for that I am grateful. I learned to listen to good advice from smart people that may have more experience and know more than I do. I am also blessed to have some of the smartest and most beautiful people in the world for clients. I have learned so much from them and consider myself fortunate to have them in my life.”
I like to encourage and inspire other people to follow their dreams, no matter how far they may seem out of someone’s reach. I root for the underdogs—and I love a great rags-to-riches story.
Patrice Vinci’s Advice to Business Owners
In her years as a salon owner, Vinci has collected several lessons. Here, she shares some words on wisdom.
With this month marking her salon’s 10-year anniversary, Vinci is excited to continue to build her brand and stay at the top of her game. She’s also open to whatever else the future may have in store for her.
“I would also like to write a book about my adventures in the beauty and entertainment businesses. I also love talk radio and would love to be on a podcast and talk all things beauty. I would like to continue to support and encourage those that have supported and encouraged me, and of course continue rooting for all the underdogs out there.”