Philadelphia's Giovanni & Pileggi takes some services outdoors during pandemic

"I'm trying to go with the flow," says owner Giovanni Mele.

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
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Check out how Giovanni & Pileggi is utilizing the outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The art of the pivot has been critical for small businesses that have been forced to reinvent themselves to stay open. Some hair salons are changing the way things are done and where they are done.

Many people are just more comfortable outdoors these days. That's why Giovanni & Pileggi in Center City has taken some of its salon chairs and services outside for a fresh reimagination of the beauty industry.

"I'm trying to go with the flow," says owner Giovanni Mele. "What else can we do in these times?"

Mele has been doing hair for more than 25 years. Never did he imagine he'd be taking cut and color outdoors in 2020.

In their little alley off 12th Street in Midtown Village, Mele is taking advantage of the open air of their courtyard and adding quick new services like 10-minute color.

"If you live in town, you can come in and put your color on," Mele says. "If you're within walking distance, you can just go home and wash it out yourself. It's like the new hair color takeout."

They can also wash and style it there in a sink that's in a completely separate area.

"I have a side door that goes into the first floor where the sinks are," Mele says. "We just wash it off and they pay and leave."

Inside the two-story Giovanni and Pileggi, customers will get their temperature checked and must wear a mask.

Everyone is spread out and it's all sanitized.

The salon has been a Philly mainstay since 1996. While closing the doors in March was devastating, they used that time to renovate and expand their services.

"I'm in the process of doing a wax room, spray tanning and microblading," he says. "We also do manicures and pedicures. So, good things are happening from the shutdown."

Mele says he feels Philly coming back and feels the support from residents.

"We're all in this together," he says. "It's going to take a lot of time, but I think we're all going to get there."

Giovanni & Pileggi still offers all of the same services you would expect inside as well.

For clients who are still not ready to venture out, they are shipping color kits home, too.