A maverick at heart.

The Duffy Hairdressing story is like no other, and it begins with the founder James Duffy, who just quietly, was more than just a hairdresser.

James was unorthodox in his approach to life, extremely diverse in talent and incredibly interesting man. One could say he was ‘A Maverick at heart’.

He started his working life working on a’bakers cart’ delivering bread when he was 9 years old, then a telegraph messenger, before leaving school at 14 to start an apprenticeship at the local butchers.

Many differing career choices followed, however at the age of 19, he worked as an apprentice hairdresser with his sister, Nell O’Brien, at a salon in Leake Street Essendon.

During his apprenticeship, true to his adventures spirit, he did a complete turnaround and applied to Utah Construction, who were building a remarkable piece of engineering, the Eildon Weir. James was employed as a Diesel mechanic despite having zero qualifications!

At the end of 12 hour shifts, James cut the hair of the men and women who worked on the project and established a strong clientele quickly.

James had finally found his calling, the passion for creativity and interaction with people through hairdressing…and never looked back.

My ‘Ladies Lounge’.

Returning to Melbourne to pursue his passion for hairdressing, James fell on his feet and was offered a position to complete his apprenticeship at Melbourne’s most prestigious salon at the time ”My Ladies Lounge” in Collins Street.

This was the opportunity of a life time, to work and learn from the best, and to rub shoulders with the ‘top end of town’ and dare I say the occasional movie star!

In fact James met the famous Hollywood actress, and Oscar winner, Elizabeth Taylor in the salon. He would often tell the story how he was totally mesmerised, by her beauty and her violet / blue eyes!

James successfully completed his apprenticeship, and became the ‘specialist cutter’ at ‘My Ladies Lounge’.

With a foundation of exceptional customer service and elite hairdressing skills, James knew that he wanted to run his ‘own show’ once again, as he did with the workers at The Eildon Weir many year prior.

As most entrepreneurs do… he would soon turn this ‘idea into reality’ and open his first salon.

“Wherever you go, make sure you leave an impression, so that they remember you next time they come in…” James Duffy

A household name.

James opened his first salon in 1959 at Fletcher Street in Essendon... and not surprisingly was an instant success.

Always one to embrace change and one step ahead of the game, James realised society trends were changing. He moved around the corner to Napier Street and opened the first “unisex” salon in Melbourne. This still remains the flagship salon to this day.

His entrepreneurial flair came to the fore… this included becoming very well known for selling one of Melbourne’s largest wig collections, which was the fashion necessity in the 70’s.

His commitment to continuous innovation, James extended the Duffy name across the North Western suburbs of Melbourne, opening salons in Moonee Ponds, Ascot Vale, Niddrie and Strathmore, whilst at all times continuing to deliver the best in class customer experience and services in hairdressing.

Duffy Hairdressing went on to become a household name.

James’s enthusiasm for learning, passion for excellence and continually striving for the Duffy salons to be at the forefront of trends, is a legacy that lives on to this day.

As James often said “Life has no limitations except those YOU make”.

The name lives on.

They say an apple never falls far from the tree… like his father before him, Tony has also had a strong entrepreneurial streak and an awareness of what people wanted at an early age.

Tony worked throughout his high school years in catering and after finishing school, he spent a short time in a customer service role. These customer facing roles helped forge his greatest passion…the importance of the ‘customer experience’.

Through this, Tony brought a ‘new energy’ to the family business. He soon established an award wining career in hairdressing and was instrumental in expanding the Duffy business.

After 40 plus years in the business, Tony’s enthusiasm and passion is stronger than ever. He continues to instil in his team the importance of being customer focused and to go ‘above and beyond’ to provide exceptional quality hairdressing.

Duffy Hairdressing continues to be synonymous with quality, care and having an exceptional customer experience.

As Tony says “When you are enthusiastic, about what you do you feel the positive energy…its very simple…”