For the last six years, Josef Mikel Salon has been a trailblazer in the Westchester beauty industry. Located in the heart of Pleasantville in a convenient spot, the salon attracts clients from near and far. At the head of it all is owner Josef Gecaj.
Gecaj, a highly skilled and sought after Master Colorist and Stylist, has been a mainstay in the local beauty scene for more than 20 years. He is well educated in Goldwell, Vidal Sassoon, and L’Oréal and continues to expand his expertise.
He happened upon the craft by fate. Though his mom worked in the industry, he only joined after being coerced to accompany a friend who was signing up at hair school. Gecaj, a former insurance professional, left his corporate job to try his hand in the industry. He attended the Capri Cosmetology Learning Centers, and went on to flourish due to his drive and inherent interest.
The Bronx native remembers, “I always liked beauty. I always liked creating style and fashion, and hair is part of it.”
The irony that he is bald is not lost on him. “I can’t sell my product,” he jokes, and shares, “When I had hair, I had the craziest hair. I did so much to my hair. I would always rock it —because you’re selling it.”
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter and mixed martial arts teacher is a dedicated and meticulous businessman who puts his heart into every aspect of his life — no matter how big or small.
He says what sets his salon apart is its juxtaposition as a homey and upscale space, its intentional design, and its killer staff. “It doesn’t look like any place else. Everything was thought out,” down to the furniture and product placement.
He knows what it takes to make customers feel special and how to run the well-oiled machine that is Josef Mikel. He has hand selected his staff over the years to cultivate an exceptionally talented team and a welcoming environment favorable for welcoming new and repeat clients.
He encourages his staff to treat patrons like it is their first time in the chair — every time. “You want to make every client feel special, every single time. I don’t care if I’m busy, I don’t care if I’m slammed — which, usually I am — I stop what I’m doing and [engage with them]. I want them to feel recognized, but like we just met.”
He explains, “Josef Mikel is the opposite of a cookie-cutter hair factory that creates the same trendy hairstyle over and over.” He and his staff see each and every appointment as a new, exciting opportunity to make someone feel beautiful.
“I absolutely love my business. I love what I do,” he raves. His passion for the salon is palpable and has proved fruitful: Over the past few years, Josef Mikel Salon and its staff have garnered four Best of Westchester wins, and continue to gain high praise from the community.