This tribute was kindly written by Shannon Gaitz for Styleicons. View the original here.
Artav Australia founder and beloved hair industry member Arturo Taverna, has sadly passed away at the age of 85, peacefully at home and with his loved ones. With a career that started over 60 years ago, Arturo was widely respected in the industry, as a hairdresser, salon owner, brand leader, businessman and icon.
Arturo began his hairdressing career in the 1950s, soon opening as many as 30 hair and beauty salons in South Australia. He was known for his warmth and commitment, becoming a beacon for hair and beauty professionals who wanted to learn and grow their craft. Arturo dedicated his own time and energy to create a supportive environment for his staff and foster a family culture, investing in hairdressers’ long-term careers. He had as many as 40 staff in just a single salon at the height of his salon empire.
He was passionate about creating local, natural, and sustainably sourced professional hair and beauty products, founding and elevating Artav Australia in that commitment, and producing 1,500 products across 6 internationally renowned brands altogether. In this endeavour he was always dedicated to the needs of salons and clients, committing to creating professional, salon-grade products at a fair price point.
Arturo was honoured in person, online and, fittingly, in a memorial at the Artav Australia factory, by so many community members that considered him family and a mentor figure in their own careers. He has been memorialised in local South Australian print and radio media as well, with citizens calling in to remember him fondly, as he touched the lives of so many and became a local household name.
In his storied career Arturo held many esteemed titles, including Master’s Hairdressers Association of South Australia president, Hairdressers Cooperative of South Australia chairman and Honorary Life Member and Hall of Fame Inductee of the Hairdressers Association of South Australia.
Arturo’s life was shaped by the hair industry, something he was passionate about consistently throughout his lifetime. Even up until some of the last months of his life, he continued to drive himself to work and be kept up to date on business matters, even leaving home as early as 3:30am to set up the office and greet workers.
His beloved children, Anthony, Sonia, Jeanette and Andrew, took the reins from him in his successful family business. Arturo leaves behind this close family, including his wife of 60 years, Lina, and his loving grandchildren.
“You don’t build a business,” Arturo once said. “You build people, and they build it. Treat the business you’re working for as if it’s your own. Continue to educate yourself, no matter what level you’re at. Be a lifelong learner. Education is the most important part of being a hairdresser today, as our industry is constantly evolving.”
This ingrained humility personified Arturo, known as a true gentleman, mentor and family man, while also being a pioneer in the industry and true force to be reckoned with in his long and important career.
He will be missed by the Artav Australia family, local South Australian hair community and industry at large.
Vale Arturo Taverna.