Curated By: Tiffany Mitchell
Cosmoprof North America Team Member at CosmoprofNorthAmerica.com
Chatting with the Founder of Rocco Donna professional, Leonardo Rocco
We took some time to go behind the scenes of Rocco Donna Professional and chat with the Founder, Leonardo Rocco. Rocco Donna will be attending this years’ Cosmoprof North America 2018 show, held July 29th-31st in Las Vegas, NV. Rocco has an amazing story; continue reading to learn more about his fascinating background in beauty and how Rocco Donna first began.
R: I’ve been in the beauty industry my whole life. My dad, an Italian stylist for more than 50 years, moved to Argentina and establish a hair salon in Rosario, Argentina; my mom administered the business and worked beside him her entire life until they both retired in 2016. So, my brother and I grew up in that world.
I am a dreamer, I have a very clear idea of what I wanted, how I wanted and when I wanted but of course not everything happened according to my plans, right?
I’ve been a professional hair artist for more than 25 years, I started at a very young age working with my father. I studied in the best beauty school of Argentina, afterward my brother and I went to Europe to gain advanced training (London, Milan, Paris and Barcelona), with big names in the industry. After all this learning, I was able to develop my own hair cutting technique.
Working together as a family, we launched Rocco Donna Salon in Argentina, also a beauty school and advanced academy. I teamed up with L’oreal, Kerastase, and Sebastian doing hair shows for many years. After all these amazing experiences I decided that it was time to pursue my dreams and have an International career, I choose the USA and moved to Miami to start my new adventure.
After few years of working in different salons, I was able to open my own Salon in South Beach, “Rocco Donna Hair and Beauty Art”, my dreams were starting to become a reality. It has now been fourteen years that I have been working as a celebrity hair artist and platform artist for hair shows. For thirteen years I have had my own TV segment on national networks with twelve years as spokesperson for Unilever. In addition, I hold five years as an International Artistic Advisor for Aloxxi International.
Life has taught me that when you are positive and focus your energy and passion to pursue your dreams, that your dreams and passions can become a reality. Three years ago I launched my own hair care line, Rocco Donna Professional in the USA. We have plans to expand to USA, EU and Sudamerica.
R: I grew up in the industry; always my passion was to create the best look with the best hair. I know that all desire the same result: healthy, smooth, vivacious and luxury hair. From this need and demand, Rocco Donna Professional was born. I really believe that if I was able to develop products that deliver, professional treatments and education support for the hairstylist, I will have a unique brand to offer to professionals and their clients.
What makes your brand unique and what is your most unique product and why?
R: Rocco Donna Professional is a specialized, luxury hair care brand. The collection is masterfully created with an exclusive and unique Complex: Roccoil, Xotic Oil Complex, inspired by family traditions and formulated with ancient exotic blends of natural healing oils.
This formula of 10 healing oils in perfect balance, they really heal your damaged hair. The Roccoil Xotic Oil Complex contains 3 main properties: -Smoothing, Anti-Color Fading and Anti-aging. The collection is for all hair types that lack vitality and overall hydration and for color treated.
One of our unique and hero products is The Hair Beauty Dose Revitalizing Anti-Aging Treatment; this recovers your hair from inside out.
When you first began, how well did you know what you were doing regarding your planning and commercial strategy?
R: I am a dreamer, I have a very clear idea of what I wanted, how I wanted and when I wanted but of course not everything happened according to my plans, right? So, besides from my dream and my idea, everything else changed, jajaja!
Many people in my surroundings told me how hard and how expensive it would be to develop a product line by my self, and I knew it.
Now, I know by heart, that it is a huge investment, it takes a lot of time and energy…even more than what I thought… and it is hard. It’s a long way and certainly not an easy one. I’m very happy to follow my dreams. We are growing in sales and are developing more incredible products.
How do you develop talent and help people on your team grow to the next level – or how do you choose the people on your team who are as passionate about the brand as you are?
R: I am passionate about the beauty industry; I am a Rocco Donna passionate, I am an educator, I love to teach new talents. At my hair salon, we have a career path, we hire advanced students from the beauty school, they start as assistants, then after 6 months they move on to shadow assistants and are promoted to new talent — then they will start building their own clientele. We do training with my staff every week.
I do not choose the people; they stand out from the group. The main ingredient is to have the will, the passion and the desire to be better every day, for me those are the main characteristics an emerging professional need to have.
Without giving away too many of your secrets, (smile) — what do you anticipate your growth to be next year and what is your direction for the future of the brand?
R: If you are an entrepreneur, you will understand that brands, products or any type of business do not grow from one day to another. Everything has its own pace, its own process.
In my case, the product line has been in my head for more than 10 years and is not until 3 years ago that I could launch the line. So we have walked quite a few miles already, of course, it’s not enough and we have so many more to walk in front of us.
Our goals for 2018 are to keep growing in Mexico, we are doing pretty good in that beautiful country. We aim to solidify the brand in the US market and keep exploring other opportunities to introduce the line in the EU and South America.
By the Q2 of 2018 we launched 2 new styling products for curly hair, we’ve been testing these formulas for at least a year, and I can tell you that this is the best styling products for curls that the market has right now.
By the Q3-Q4 of 2018, we are planning to launch a volumizing system, we are still in the testing period.
Finally, what gets you out of bed in the morning — what is your daily motivation?
R: You know, the slogan of my hair salon is “The Energy of Beauty” and literally, my passion for what I do gets me out of the bed every morning. I love what I do, I love to see people faces when they see their selves in the mirror after one of my famous makeovers; of course is not always easy, sometimes tiredness gets me and I want to throw the towel.
But then, I realize that I came this far because of my passion and my will to reach my goals. I have to keep pushing until I get where I would like to be, to a place where I can keep educating and sharing my knowledge with the upcoming generations and supporting them to find the “Energy of Beauty” they have — so they can help their clients discovers theirs as well.
GET SOCIAL WITH rocco donna professional: