Rizzieri: Setting the standard in beauty for a century



Franco Ciprotti was ahead of his time when he started the first cosmetology school in New Jersey in 1924. In an era when women were cutting their hair in favor of short, stylish bobbed cuts, Ciprotti, an Italian immigrant, opened Maison de Paris in Camden.

The school thrived, even during the Great Depression, which gripped the nation just 5 years later. And over the next 9 decades, the business changed with the times as it was passed down through the generations, first under the leadership of Franco’s daughter Anna and her husband Sal Rizzieri, and now with his grandson Frank Rizzieri at the helm. Today Frank Rizzieri runs 2 upscale salons and spas in Washington Twp. and Moorestown, and the Rizzieri Aveda School in Voorhees. All told, the network employs 185-plus professionals and averages 150,000 customers annually. The world-renowned school has trained thousands of top hair stylists and estheticians in the greater tri-state area.

A master stylist who has traveled the globe creating looks for celebrities like Paul McCartney and Elle MacPherson, and working runway shows and magazine shoots for the likes of Calvin Klein, Helmut Lang, Cynthia Rowley and Tibi, Frank says his grandfather’s legacy looms large as he fine-tunes plans to take the beauty business in new directions.

 It’s wonderful how we’re getting ready to reveal the reinvention of the business almost 100 years after my grandfather opened his school.” –Frank Rizzieri

“My grandfather was an entrepreneurial person who was ahead of the pack and always reinventing himself,” says Rizzieri, noting that his grandfather’s first business was a barber shop and beauty school in Philadelphia. The Rizzieri family understood that, at the heart of it, this is a family business, built on the relationships and trust we build with employees and clients,” Rizzieri says. “We have people working here whose grandmothers and mothers went through our school and now their kids are here. We have given them great opportunities they might not have had and helped them build their lives. And that’s really powerful.”

Born into the business, Frank Rizzieri was put to work sweeping hair off the floor at a very young age. Although he enjoyed styling hair and was clearly talented, there was a time when he considered leaving the family business.

“I didn’t want to work in South Jersey, I wanted to work in New York City,” he says. “The deal was that I’d do both and they would let me add my vision to the family business. That’s when the name changed to Rizzieri.”

While the South Jersey businesses were flourishing, Rizzeri was also in high demand in the fashion world. He was unimaginably busy in the mid-90s through the early 2000s, working runway shows and magazine shoots, such as “Glamour,” “Mademoiselle” and “Self,” and serving as a lead stylist on shows featuring fashion designers, including Stella McCartney and Nicole Miller.

“I did this at the highest level when it was actually fun to do,” he says. “I traveled all over the world working with celebrities, famous photographers and fashion models. But it was hard – 7 days a week, 15-hour days, if you can imagine, while at the same time I was changing the family business to the foundation we have now.”

Before the pandemic struck, he was also running Rizzieri salons in Florida and New York City. When everything shut down during Covid, Frank was in South Jersey, where his work shifted in different ways. He helped the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and Cosmetology Board in their efforts to safely reopen industry schools during Covid and also led a coalition of 60+ local salons that were sharing best practices throughout the pandemic. In addition, he consulted with state lawmakers on Covid transition strategies.

Frank also used the time to reconsider his busy lifestyle. “Basically we sold the salons in Florida and New York City to focus on South Jersey and to figure out the next way to reinvent the business. What I learned during my reset is that time is the most valuable resource.”

During the shutdown, the Washington Township Salon and Spa moved to a new location. And the Moorestown salon is now being remodeled. Frank is also putting finishing touches on a plan that will be fully revealed later this month to franchise salons to stylists and entrepreneurs. “I want to make it easier for creative people to own their own business,” he says, noting that franchise owners will be provided with development support to grow their businesses. He is also developing initiatives that, buoyed by the success of the school’s digital instruction, would make Rizzieri a leader in online education.

“It’s wonderful how we’re getting ready to reveal the reinvention of the business almost 100 years after my grandfather opened his school,” he says. “When I look at our business, it’s been through the Depression, world wars, 9/11 and so much more. This business has gone through the test of time and continues to reinvent itself for the times.”


Rizzieri today:

• Rizzieri Salon & Spa, located in the Moorestown Mall, features a 14,000-square-foot medi-spa, barbershop and salon providing hair, nail and massage services.

• Rizzieri’s Washington Township salon, recently moved to a new flagship location, offers expanded services including full-service hair salon, spa and skin studio.

• The Rizzieri Aveda School offers training in cosmetology, skincare and nails. Mud makeup certification is available as well as salon services performed by students.

Rizzieri Salon Moorestown |Rizzieri Salon Washington Twp. | Rizzieri Aveda School Voorhees | rizzieri.com