Meet Ryne Gallien of The Chelsea Tampa in Florida

Meet Ryne Gallien of The Chelsea Tampa in Florida

If there’s one lesson from the career of Ryne Gallien, co-owner of Hair salon The Chelsea Tampa and Tampa Magazine’s 2022 Top 10 Under 40 recipient, it’s to advocate for yourself. Starting off his career as an assistant in hair salons, he says, “I always worked harder and asked for new opportunities.” Those opportunities taught him the physical skills of cutting and styling hair as well as the people skills of keeping clients happy. Now he’s a successful Tampa business owner

With the mindset of “there’s always something new to learn,” Gallien studied at The Aveda Institute in Saint Petersburg, Florida. “Aveda has always had a great reputation for the quality of their educational programs,” he says. It’s where he started to learn the craft of cutting and styling hair. “I also had a lot of training to be able to physically execute the haircuts that my clients want. Doing that consistently is a key skill in hairdressing,” he says. 

After the year-long program, Gallien moved to Tampa to work for an Aveda salon called Level in Hyde Park Village. In his six years there, he asked for new opportunities and took advantage of the salon’s education program.

Becoming a Business Owner

Once Level was sold to different owners, Gallien decided it was time to move on. His temporary home was another salon called The Station. After a year there, it was time to take all his hard work and lessons learned and create his own hair salon. Along with his business partner Maggie, Gallien opened The Chelsea Tampa. “I wanted to curate my own space, something of my own,”he says. Maintaining a large clientele base, his salon is entering its sixth year. 

Owning his own business was never a dream of his as a child growing up in Sarasota, Florida. “I didn’t see this trajectory as a kid. I feel independent because the business is mine,” reflects Gallien. He worked hard to own his business.

Even though being a business owner requires different sets of skills, his secret weapon is still his social skills, the ability to connect with diverse clients. He says, “My most valuable asset would be my social skills. Being a hairstylist is 70% playing therapist. You learn to be a chameleon, appealing to as many people as you can.” With a wide range of interests from traveling to fashion to fitness to food, Gallien always has a topic to relate to his clients and a local recommendation. Passionate about fitness, he often recommends Barry’s to clients. The fitness center is located in Hyde Park, Tampa’s most historic neighborhood with 19th century architecture, restaurants, and murals. 

From One Florida City to Another

His clients are his motivation in his work. “I truly enjoy the connections I get to make with all of my guests. The diversity that exists within my clientele is exciting to me. I learn about new things, places, and people every day,” says Gallien. 

The excitement of learning new things began in Sarasota, where Ryne Gallien grew up. A friendly town, it’s near some of Florida’s most beautiful beaches. (In particular, Siesta Key is a favorite beach of Gallien’s.) With a thriving arts community and deep history, there’s something for everyone in Sarasota. 

Only an hour drive from Sarasota, Gallien was already visiting Tampa most weekends, and officially moved there when he was 20 years old. He says, “I moved [to Tampa] because the demographic is younger. Tampa has more activities that appeal to me. People are always out and about dining, shopping, or doing fitness activities. There are a lot of fairs and festivals in parks.” 

Tampa provides non-stop action for Gallien. For example, he recently attended the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival, an all-day parade and weekend of festivities in honor of the pirates legends that used to frequent Tampa Bay before the early 20th century. “Gasparilla makes for long days, but it’s a lot of fun,” he says. 

Top Tampa Recommendations

A foodie at heart, Ryne Gallien and his husband often dine out with friends at the many restaurants in Tampa. “When I’m not working, you can find me at a restaurant with friends,” he says. Too many options makes it hard for Gallien to recommend just one, but for visitors of Tampa, he points them to Restaurant BT, a top-rated Vietnamese-French restaurant. Bern’s Steak House is also a must-visit for their James Beard award-winning wine program and wine cellar tours. 

Gallien’s Tampa recommendations don’t stop at restaurants. If you’ve never been to this Florida coastal city, don’t miss Bayshore and the Tampa Riverwalk with wide sidewalks and paths for joggers, runners, and cyclists. Gallien runs along it every weekend with friends. With water taxis along the Riverwalk, he says, “it’s a perfect way to see the city highlights.” 

Tampa is more and more walkable. Gallien recommends starting at The Tampa Edition, a chic hotel and residence with a plant-filled lobby and rooftop pool. Then walk down Water Street, popping into its many restaurants and shops. Don’t forget to see the views of the water from Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. 

When Gallien isn’t dining out or running along the Riverwalk, he’s often at the Tampa Museum of Art, an art museum in downtown Tampa with a large collection. Gallien’s husband is on the museum’s board and Gallien is active on several museum committees. One is “Next Gen,” a new initiative to make art more accessible to Tampa’s younger audience. “Art can be hard to approach for many people. There’s fear that they won’t understand the art. The goal is to make it less intimidating,” Gallien says. The Next Gen committee does that through happy hours at the museum, a chance for guests to visit and go on short tours of new exhibits. 

Adventures Beyond Tampa

As much as Ryne Gallien loves living in Tampa, he’s a frequent traveler of the world’s cities: New York City, Paris, London. With the goal of traveling somewhere new once a year, Gallien gravitates toward cities. He says, “Cities are more stimulating when it comes to architecture, museums, fine dining, and activities. I love to learn and cities provide constant learning.” His next trip is to Italy’s Rome and Florence with a few days in a Tuscan villa. Traveling to places like Italy gives him more topics to talk to his clients about. 

Sometimes his travels take him away from major cities. One memorable trip was on a small cruise to Tahiti. Since the ship was intimate, there were only a few public spaces. It forced guests to really get to know each other. He and his husband became fast friends with an Australian couple and sisters from Texas. Since the trip, he’s traveled to Las Vegas with the two sisters. They even came to his birthday party in Tampa. 

Looking back, Gallien feels fortunate enough to travel because of the business he’s created. Passionate about empowering the next generation of business owners, his advice is to believe that you can achieve your dreams. Additionally, he says, “Be dynamic. Learn everything you can. Perfect your craft, learn how to communicate with different types of people, take trips to better understand cultures and places, and lastly, take care of your body.” 

Be on the lookout for Dreams Abroad’s ongoing Meet the Locals series. Follow our series to meet other global professionals sharing their stories from around the world.

20 thoughts on “Meet Ryne Gallien of The Chelsea Tampa in Florida

  1. Wow, Ryne sounds like such an inspirational person! I loved getting to learn more about his business journey in Tampa.

  2. He seems like such an amazing guy! I love his work ethic and his commitment to his craft. No wonder he’s so successful!

  3. Great post, Mr. Gallien sounds like a very interesting person! Sounds like he’s doing it all and I salute all his hard work. I so agree with him when he says, “Believe You Can Achieve Your Dream”, you really have to believe it!!

  4. This is an inspiring story. His parting remarks that we should learn everything we can and travel to more places are my mantras in life.

  5. I really love his mindset and attitude. He’s going to go very far in his business. Even further than he already has!

  6. Sounds like he is a wonderful business owner and member of the community. So dedicated to the work he does!

  7. He sounds like a very interesting and thoughtful person. I like what he is doing and he is an example of what can be accomplished with hard work.

  8. Kudos on the interview with Ryne Gallien! Really appreciated learning more about his perspective and the vibrant atmosphere at The Chelsea Tampa.

  9. This is such a fun series. There are so many inspiring people all around us and Ryne sounds like a great example.

  10. Ryan looks like he’d be so much fun! What an interesting and impresive person to interview. I love his general style and am a foodie at heart too.

  11. What a lovely post, and it shows that hard work and dedication, pays off. he had a dream worked hard and it paid off 🙂

  12. I loved learning about Ryne Gallien and his adventures at The Chelsea Tampa. Way to go!!!!!!

  13. Tampa is definitely a spot of nonstop action. Great feature and an interesting read! Very inspiring to read young success stories 🙂

  14. This is a great insight into Ryne Gallien’s business and lifestyle. It sounds like he has set up a great hairdressing business in Tampa and learned so many things along the way.

  15. Thanks so much for sharing this inspiring entrepreneur story, I had a good read & got to know him better. Great insight gained. Cheers SiennyLovesDrawing

  16. It is such a beautiful story that any successful person has in his or her pocket of experiences. It is not easy to climb to the top. But with dream and perseverance, look, what can be achieved!
    Bravo Ryne!

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