Francesca D'Ambrosio's first job in the beauty biz was answering phones at a salon and spa in Naperville. Once she earned her cosmetology license, she jetted to New York to work alongside prestigious stylists and make her way to the top from the bottom of the barrel. Fortunately, her first gig as a stylist was anything but at the bottom of the barrel—she started at the Bumble and bumble salon, one of the Big Apple's hubs for celebrities, fashion-industry elites, and globetrotting wigs. She stayed in New York for about a decade, shaping the famous hairs atop Fran Drescher, Mark Wahlberg, Joan Jett, and Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas.
When she relocated to Chicago, Francesca opened a salon of her own. Perched in a historic brick building above the Tap House, the space has the simple sophistication that befits a transplanted New Yorker. The black-and-white scheme extends to the walls, where portraits of Audrey Hepburn and other style icons supervise haircuts, keratin treatments, and color services.