'It is necessary to work with love' is perhaps the best guideline to know the story of Paula Matos, owner of the homonymous hairdressing salon, located in Rua dos Santos Mártires do Alboi, in Aveiro. Paula made Venezuela her home from the age of fifteen to twenty-one years, where she worked in the beauty parlor of Miss. Fernanda, a family acquaintance. After helping her parents in a laundry and dry cleaning business, the young woman returns to Portugal where she lived with a godfather she considers to be a second father. At twenty-one, she enrolled in the prestigious 'José Neto' hairdressing course, organized in the blue hall of Santa Catarina street, where he assimilated the theory at night and practiced during daytime. This rich experience has imbued Paula with professional values that she still applies in her salon, namely the respect for schedules and the hygiene and safety that the profession requires. The course also instilled in her a certain degree of professionalism, visible in all that this experienced hairdresser does and says. Finally, it offered her the opportunity to train in Aveiro, in the hairdressing saloon of Mr. Toneca, with whom she learned a lot from and still considers a professional of the highest caliber. At this point, the young woman, with all her impetuosity and genius, 'played with hair', dominating them, twisting them and molding them at her will. Nowadays it continues to do so, but it is her own impetuosity that she has learned to tame, thus managing to find a perfect balance between her experience and her clientele´s tastes.
Eventually the time came to leave the student role aside and take care of her own destiny.
She inaugurated a hairdressing saloon in the Vera Cruz building, in partnership, where she developed her art and gained considerable experience. After this first commercial adventure, our entrepreneur opened another space in Rua João Mendonça nº 31, where she was able to translate in practical terms what she idealized for the profession: to have a range of clients, to perceive what they want, and to treat each person who visits the her saloon, as unique. The future, however, reserved a terrible surprise for Paula. An unpredictable fire broke out in her shop and left the space unrecognizable. However, her professional integrity and warmth earned her something that will remain forever well-guarded in her chest: the unconditional friendship of friends and merchants of Rua João Mendonça, who did everything to help her through such a tough phase. It is with a smile that Paula remembers people controlling the flames until the arrival of the firemen, the material loaned by colleagues, the clients who came to the salon two and three times a week, instead of the usual one... Only a slight hesitation in Paula's voice reveals her inevitable longing and memories of the street. In the midst of all this, she feels very lucky with the people she met.
Life is made of beginnings and ends, and this event was for Paula a beginning. She searched for a new space with which to identify herself and found it on the place where her hall is now. The ria and the garden of this part of the city inspired her to again offer her mastery to the windy city and customers from all the corners of the world thank her. Yes, you red correctly, from every corner of the world. The relative proximity of the University of Aveiro is reflected in an influx of young clients, among them many Erasmus students, who see in Paula a second mother.
Rivaling with the youth of the clientele is the staff of the house, friends, whom the hairdresser treats with the highest esteem, but also with great demand. Ana Margarida 'is top in hairs', Luciana 'is an expert on ingrown nails' and Alejandro Alcaide is acquiring pragmatic knowledge in his internship. The team assumes itself as a trichologist, an area that mixes aesthetic and dermatological concerns and contemplates the careful mixing of products, without sacrificing health for beauty. For her part, Paula keeps her knowledge up to date, making sure to attend, every year, L'oréal formations in Paris. This knowledge, coupled with Paula's maxims that put the client first, as well as the professional zeal and the ability to 'make people feel at home,' paint Paula's professional portrait. She humbly states that she does not know much of the business, but whoever knows her knows she has all the skills and techniques of a great hairdresser.