Salon Owners' Secrets: Traviss Kraisoraphong
How the co-owner of Noel Sy Salon in Bala Cynwyd got his start.
Traviss Kraisoraphong is a melting pot of creative influences. Born to parents of British and Thai descent, he was raised in Saudi Arabia by his mother and American diplomat stepfather. He attended high school in Pennsylvania, then headed to the University of the Arts to pursue his first love: photography. “I intended to be a fashion photographer and was working with Reinhard to shoot photos for models’ portfolios,” he says. “But I couldn’t afford a hair or makeup person, so I did the hair myself. The models loved what I did so much that, eventually, I realized I should change my career.”
Kraisoraphong’s first job in the industry was sweeping floors at James & Co. salon in Wayne. But he quickly found a stylist gig at Raya Haig Salon, later joining Michel Noel as partner at Noel Sy. “Balance, structure, color—all of those things I learned at art school get incorporated into my clients’ hair,” he says. “It’s all art—just on a different canvas.”