As a successful businesswoman and salon owner, Debora Gallo-Capaldi enjoys being able to support many local nonprofits. "Every other month we choose a different charity to lend a hand to. Sometimes it's collecting items or money, or on other occasions we participate and work at an event. Over this past Christmas we donated a LOT of toys and clothing to Child Crisis Arizona!"
Even her company's mission statement reflects her caring: "Our mission at Pucci Salon is to exceed customer expectations by consistently providing them with an uncommon experience. With each kind word, helpful deed, artistic ability, or charitable act, we come together with the freedom and knowledge to service our community."
She continues, "Florence Crittenton Arizona is an organization for young girls, with its goal to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect. Recently we participated in the Heels for Healing event, where we collected many like- new or gently used shoes and handbags for resale."
Gallo-Capaldi's salon was christened Pucci after the affectionate nickname she was given in childhood by her favorite aunt. "This aunt was a major influence on my life, and I still feel her effect on me in what I am today- I am a private person and believe in discretion, I don't believe in being offensive or judgmental. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt; differences of opinion just don't bother me!"
She has been in Arizona over 30 years now, but the back story of how Debora chose the area is fascinating in itself. “We lived on the East Coast, but had decided to move to Florida since my husband wanted to get out of the cold. He was in the automotive business, so we participated in a Cannonball Race, where teams of drivers race from one coast of the US to the other, trying for the fastest time. It might have been illegal even way back then (as it is now) , since it was kind of a hush-hush procedure. Twenty cars started in Massachusetts, with my husband and I as one team. We made it from the East coast to California in 40 hours! When we came through the desert it was the most beautiful sight we had ever seen, with the sand, the cactus, a lake and the sunset over it all! After the race I flew back to return to work, but my husband drove the car home, and as he passed through Fountain Hills, he thought "we're not going to Florida, we're living here!" At the time we moved, we only knew our insurance agent and our realtor. My husband opened his automotive business in the Airpark, and after four years when he sold the business, I started my salon, Pucci."
After all these years in Arizona, Debora remarks that "We still obviously love the weather, but I really appreciate the diversity of the area! It seems everyone has come from somewhere else, and it teaches you something different, the opportunity to know people from all walks of life.” She also enjoys playing golf, going to the theatre, reading a good book, and is now catching up with the latest movies in anticipation of Oscar season.
As another year begins, Debora Gallo-Capaldi is already gearing up her support of the community through Pucci:"This February we are promoting the Boys and Girls Club. "We are donating a salon treatment for hair and makeup for the six girls who are getting an award and who will speak at the dinner!"
Which fundraising event is your favorite? I don't have a favorite. I try to participate with many and concentrate on different ones each year.
Favorite restaurant? Casa mia, my house. But I also love Pomo.
Favorite movie? The Wizard of Oz
Favorite play? The Phantom of the Opera
Favorite TV show? I don't watch a lot of TV, but I enjoy professional baseball.
Whom do you most admire and why? My husband, because he is the wind beneath my wings. That was our wedding song 30 years ago and it still stands to be true.
If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part? Meryl Streep. She is the best actress!
Do you have any pets? Yes, Olive is a 9 year old Boston terrier.
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? That I was neat and clean. I even leave a hotel room clean when I leave!
What's the best lesson you've learned through the years? Never judge a book by its cover.
What was your first job? Ann Taylor.
What is your greatest indulgence? There are too many!
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Being in business for 25 years with many of the same great stylists in the beauty business and having the same clients to love us for what we do.
What is your most treasured possession? OLIVE, my dog. I love animals and children, but I didn't have children, because I forgot to, so my dog is everything to me.
What is the quality you most like in people? Their individual beauty; I will find the best in someone.
Favorite books/writers? Memoirs of a Geisha
What is the trait you most deplore in others? HATRED
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Whatever the day brings.
What would we be most surprised to know about you? I say it the way it is.
What is the best advice you have ever received? To mind my own business.
What are some challenges facing nonprofits? There are too many, and we can't accommodate their needs all of the time.