Salon furniture company founded by Claudio Bonazza in 1961 in Venice, Italy. The company is named for Claudio's wife Dina and her sister Meri (the company was also known as Venice Trading Company). In 1981, Claudio moved to the U.S. (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Claudio was a chemist; Dina was a stylist. They opened a few salons; he began making products for her to use in her salon out of his garage. Then someone became interested in distributing the products and they opened a lab. He soon began making and selling wigs—first in the salon and soon in department stores throughout Italy. This lasted for about two years before he began designing equipment for salons. Claudio spent time talking to his wife and other stylists and technicians to see what they needed. He made his products then, as he does now, from a plastic mold that can be reused over and over again.
In 1980, he came to the United States to attend the IBS Show in New York. It was there that he met a man who was selling beads for women's hair. (It was right around the time the Bo Derek movie "10" came out.) When he returned to Italy, he began producing and selling these beads. Although the fad lasted only a few months, it was enough for Claudio to pay off his debts. But when the fascination with hair beads died, he was left with literally millions of beads. So he began making beaded hair accessories — those too sold like wild fire.
February 1, 2001
Dina Meri, the family-owned business that specializes in plastic roll-abouts and related salon products, got its start in Italy in 1961 and officially opened in the United States in 1981.