This year will be a milestone year as the Dean Gera brand prepares to launch its flagship salon at the Phoenicia and, eventually, its first international presence.

“These developments mean that management of our growing network of salons will be a big challenge. So, we chose Misco to carry out an intensive Leadership and Management Qualification course for our managers. We want every member to grow, because their professional growth is a collective growth for the brand,” says Dean Gera, who comes from a family of hairdressers.

At the age of 20, Dean found himself in London where, together with his uncle, he started knocking on the doors of those few salon brands he wanted to work for.

“London is what it is, and the lack of response was disheartening. Back in Malta I decided to give it another shot. I wrote an e-mail to Trevor Sorbie’s general manager, telling him I only wanted to work for them. He e-mailed me back and asked me to visit him next time I was in London. I did and ended up working at their salon in Covent Garden for two years.”

At Trevor Sorbie, Dean learned all the fundamentals. “But the experience also reinforced my idea that a successful brand is one where there is teamwork and people take ownership. I also learned the importance of humility and while everyone is a specialist at what they do, it is alright to pick up the broom every now and again.”

Back in Malta, Dean opened his first salon at the Radisson Bay Point, now the Radisson Blu. “In Malta people think you are successful only if you own your own salon. But I wanted to create a brand where stylists could develop their career and perfect their skills without the need to branch off on their own.”

The Phoenicia project is due to be completed next month. “The salon, designed by Valentino Architects, has been an eye-opener. We are taking our brand offering and customer experience to a new level.”

Dean is adamant about training his team in more than just hairdressing.

“I strongly believe that in hairdressing, at least 50 per cent of success depends on the experience and feel-good factor customers leave the salon with after a cut or colour.”