Josef and Shaun Settle met in 1988, one year later, married; vowing to make the best of life together. Both of them having the same morals, ethics, and Christian background, they knew their path in life. God first, He is their guiding force, second, their daughter (born in 1991) and family, third, their careers. In 1992, they decided to take Joe’s marketing & management skills and Shaun’s hair design experience to new levels and open a hair salon that would stand out from all others. It would be educationally based.
They would build and grow a team of professionals that want this industry to be their career, not just a hobby or a part-time job. They would be professional with guests, and as a team, they would be viewed by the industry and guests as a profession that is no longer gossipy or unprofessional. They should be related to the same caring fields as doctors, dentists, & plastic surgeons, because of the extreme changes they are able to give to their guests. The best would never be good enough. They wanted the “crème de’ le’ cream” (cream of the crop).
Striving to educate and create this team, Josef and Shaun sought out the best education in the World to travel and study under. Twenty-some years of marriage and over sixteen years of ownership later, they are proud and honored of their creation, “Avant Gard, the Salon, the School, the boutique, The Experience” and the “Avant Gard Design Team.”
After thirteen years of training staff, Josef and Shaun felt the educational system in cosmetology schools was lacking the ability to produce upper-scale, salon-ready students. “We felt we had to retrain graduates from cosmetology schools before we could get them to the salon skill level of training.” Making strides to change the industry, they opened “Avant Gard the School” in 2004, attracting those who are serious about being the best of the best.
Once Avant Gard the School was up and running and after many training sessions with students, Josef woke up one night with an epiphany about a new cutting system. He worked through the ideals with Shaun and they devised the Secret 7 Cutting System, a complete system of cutting and coloring techniques that allow the students of the school to achieve a better understanding of the head and its challenges. For the salon, a systematic approach to dissect each cut and color design for each individual guest as their own new look and color. The Secret 7 was working fantastically in both businesses so they took it out on the road to teach other stylists and schools the ease and flexibility the system offers. While out doing the classes and extremely frustrated with the chemicals and dyes in the professional hair care brands, Josef and Shaun went out to look for their own product line. In this venture they happened upon Mastey de Paris. It is an older company that has been around for fifty years founded by a hairdresser and chemist, Henri Mastey. Mastey just happened to be everything they were looking for and more in a Hair Care Product line. After working with the product and color they were just amazed at the true tone color, the longevity of the color tone, and the perfect grey coverage in 100% ammonia free color (i.e. Ammonia is in 4 industries: 1.) Explosives 2.) Cleaning products 3.) Fertilizer 4.) Hair Color). Which industry does not seem to fit in? Josef and Shaun believe in the Mastey Method so whole heartedly and have gotten such fantastic results that they integrated the Secret 7 and the Mastey Method. They have also served as Creative Directors for Mastey de Paris and have traveled the globe helping hairdressers to see the light out of toxic carcinogens in hair products and hair color. They are ecstatic to help Mastey reinvent itself, and watch the industries go back to the hands it belongs to, the hairdresser (not the big corporate guys that just want to watch the money roll in and do not care about what is in the products we put on our hair!) They have educated and trained in Mexico, Dubai, Kuwait, London and many more exotic locations as well as in the United States to share the knowledge and bring more hairdressers to the Mastey de Paris family.
After years in the making, their International Haircare Line “Shaoé” will be launching in July 2013.
Take the opportunity to see the Avant Gard experience, whether it be as a guest, a stylist, or a student; come see for yourself.