Hairstylist inspires older workers amid pandemic


JENSEN BEACH, Fla. — The pandemic forced some into early retirement but the Labor Department says more “older workers” are sticking it out and by 2024 one-in-four workers will be age 55 and over. That includes one Treasure Coast hairstylist, who doesn’t plan to ever retire. And he’s encouraging other people his age to do the same.

For approximately 60 years people have sat in Gaetano “Guy” Izzo’s chair.

”If you want to get the job done right you go to someone who is confident at what they do and someone who is known for making something uniquely yours,” said Maria Schleider, Gaetano’s Beauty Salon customer.

”It’s really work and play at the same time,” Izzo said. “It’s very rewarding for me to see people loving the work that I do.”

In fact, he’s won at least 10 national awards, owned five beauty salons in New Jersey before moving to Florida six years ago, and opening another in Jensen Beach. And within the last four years developed his own haircare line.

”He never, ever stops wanting to be better,” said Linda Izzo, Gaetano’s Beauty Salon manager, hairstylist, and colorist. “People can learn from him to find a passion and never give up because every day is a new experience and there’s new people to meet.”

And amid COVID-19 Gaetano has opened another in a renovated 1500-square foot space offering both skincare and haircare treatments located at Seminole Shoppes on US 1 South in Palm Beach Gardens.

”He’s 79-years-old and taking on, building on – spending a lot of money to build a space for him to come every day to work on people. His passion is to work on people,” said Mark Paladino, Illustrated Properties, LLC real estate agent.

As his new client base grows, those closest to Gaetano say it’s a way of life more aging workers should follow. Especially as both people and businesses are forced to adapt amid the pandemic.

”When you’re working every day, you do you don’t have time to get sick,” Guy said. “If you enjoy what you’re doing, why give it up?”

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