As the pandemic forced salons to close across the country in 2020, owners and their team members had to pivot, designing new avenues to bring in revenue while their doors were shuttered, incorporating stringent new safety and social distancing procedures, and getting creative with their budgets to weather the challenges of the year.

SALON TODAY’s landmark salon business competition also shifted, temporarily abandoning its sharp focus on growth, and instead choosing to celebrate the business successes of 2019 and the tales of leadership and heroism for 2020.

To make this large story a little easier to digest for our readers, we’re breaking it into segments alphabetically. Here is the 2021 Honorees for Salons L-O.

La Luma
Guelph, Ontario
lalumasalon.com
Andrew McAleese
SQUARE FEET: 2,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 7
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $40
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Eufora
COLOR: Eufora
TECH SUPPORT: Phorest
ASSOCIATIONS: Ontario Association of Career Colleges
“We developed a five-year Business Development Plan with big goals for the salon. Our plan has tasks, timelines, and accountabilities set up so that we always know what we’re working on, who is responsible for ensuring the work is complete, and when it needs to be done by.”

Lasting Impression Salon & Spa
Maysville, KY
Patricia North
SQUARE FEET: 5,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 10
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $40
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda
NAIL CARE: Emma, SNS, OPI
TECH SUPPORT: SpaBiz, Demandforce, Reach
ASSOCIATIONS: Qnity
“We invested in a team member who wanted to pursue permanent makeup. This required a lot of research and investment, in addition to additional salon licensure, insurance, and overhead costs. We now offer microblading, as well as microneedling eyeliner and lipliner.”

Santa Claus makes a special appearance in a holiday photo taken with the team from Legato Salon and Spa from Farmington and Birmingham, MI.
 -

Santa Claus makes a special appearance in a holiday photo taken with the team from Legato Salon and Spa from Farmington and Birmingham, MI.

Legato Salon & Spa 
Farmington and Birmingham, MI
salonlegato.com
Karlyn and Diane Cassidy
SQUARE FEET: 1,500; 3,500
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 10
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $60
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Listen360
“Thankfully two of our owners/managers live together, and we transformed a dining room into a call center for our guests. We made ourselves available 24/7 to ensure that our guests felt taken care of, even though they couldn’t see us. Every time a new executive order was released, we communicated it  to our guest list through email updates, Instagram, and Facebook.”


The team from 'Let Em Have It in Denver, CO.
 -

The team from 'Let Em Have It in Denver, CO.

Let Em Have It Salon
Denver, CO
letemhaveitsalon.com
Fallene Wells
SQUARE FEET: 1,937
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 7
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $65
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Davines, Innersense Organic Beauty
COLOR: Davines, Pravana, Pulp Riot
TECH SUPPORT: Meevo 2, Shopify, SurveyMonkey
“We started as a booth rent salon, gradually becoming a hybrid salon of commission and rental, and last year we finally went all team-based as an hourly pay structure. Our payroll went from representing 43% of our expenses to 32%, and retail grew from 12% of our total sales to 20%.”
 

Ashley Carlevato, owner of Levato Salon & Skin Lab in Hinsdale, IL.
 -

Ashley Carlevato, owner of Levato Salon & Skin Lab in Hinsdale, IL.

Levato Salon & Skin Lab
Hinsdale, IL
levatosalon.com
Ashley Carlevato
SQUARE FEET: 2,400
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 20
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $70
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Kevin Murphy
COLOR: Kevin Murphy
SKIN CARE: Herbivore Botanicals, Skin Script
TECH SUPPORT: Mindbody
ASSOCIATIONS: CC, PBA
“I created a Facebook page for ‘Licensed Illinois Salon Professionals’ to communicate about salon closures and guidelines. This platform acts as a communication tool and supports stylists, estheticians, makeup artists, nail techs, and massage therapists. We currently have 1,400 members.” 
*Levato
Ashley Carlevato, owner of Levato Salon & Skin Lab in Hinsdale, IL. 

The team from Lola Hair Studio in Cambridge, MA.
 -

The team from Lola Hair Studio in Cambridge, MA.

Lola Hair Studio
Cambridge, MA
lolahairstudio.com
Anna Walsh
SQUARE FEET: 1,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 9
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $91
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Oribe, Goldwell, Olaplex
COLOR: Goldwell, Redken 
TECH SUPPORT: Phorest, Canvasme
ASSOCIATIONS: PBA
“I belong to the Salon Cadence coaching group and we felt the support during the shutdown. We could join sprints, Voxer groups and Facebook groups. We had scheduled Zoom calls to share our best practices and to motivate one another. Having a pulse on the industry and learning what other salons were doing was super helpful.” 
 

LoneStar Salon & Spa
Tumwater, WA
lonestarsalon.net
Lisa Musgrove Kibler
SQUARE FEET: 2,300
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 25
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $56
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: L’Oréal Professionnel, DevaCurl, Surface
COLOR: L’Oréal Professionnel
SKIN CARE: G.M. Collin
TECH SUPPORT: Salon Iris, Meet Your Stylist
ASSOCIATIONS: PBA
“We grew our associate program to give our lead stylists another level of additional income, while growing our own talent. I believe this helps support an extremely high rebooking percentage of 84-86% across the company, and secures a solid team who can help us reach a wide demographic.”

An inside look at Lordis Loft Salon & Day Spa in Charleston, SC.
 -

An inside look at Lordis Loft Salon & Day Spa in Charleston, SC.

Lordis Loft Salon & Day Spa
Charleston, SC
Lordis loft.com
Linzie Davis
SQUARE FEET: 2,700; 1,700
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 11
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $61
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda
NAIL CARE: Zoya, Smith & Colt
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Demandforce
ASSOCIATIONS: ISBN, PBA
“While business is not usual this year, we’re growing, we’re learning and we will continue to be successful because our true passion is in what we create for our clients, and the gratitude that is expressed is worth more than the money they pay us—we create a bright spot in these trying times.”

Loxx Salon and Spa
Cookeville, TN
loxxsalon.net
Mike and Tracey Franklin
SQUARE FEET: 3,200
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 12
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $55
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda, Skin Medica
NAIL CARE: Nexgen, OPI
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Reach, Demandforce, Meet Your Stylist
ASSOCIATIONS: CC, PBA
“Once we were able to reopen, we did not take new clients until all our regulars had been given the opportunity to come in.  We are one of the only salons in our area with a mandatory mask requirement, and this has led to an increase in our overall business.”  

 - Maggie DiFalco, owner of Maggie The Salon in Pembroke Pines, FL.

Maggie DiFalco, owner of Maggie The Salon in Pembroke Pines, FL.  

Maggie The Salon
Pembroke Pines, FL
Maggiesalon.com
Maggie DiFalco
SQUARE FEET: 2,350; 2,300
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 25
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $70
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda
NAIL CARE: CND
TECH SUPPORT: Phorest
ASSOCIATIONS: ICA, PBA
“Every team member has a professional Instagram page which is featured on our website. We hold classes on how to take pictures of their work, how to position their guest and get the best lighting and how to post their work. Their individual photos are sent to someone in the salon who carefully picks which to post on the salon’s Instagram.”

 - Chris and Jenny Knudsen, owners of Mane Attraction Salon in Phoenix, AZ.

Chris and Jenny Knudsen, owners of Mane Attraction Salon in Phoenix, AZ.

Mane Attraction Salon
Phoenix, AZ
maneattractionsalon.com
Chris and Jenny Knudsen
SQUARE FEET: 2,376
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 24
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $80
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Bumble and Bumble, Brazilian Blowout
COLOR: Wella, Pulp Riot
TECH SUPPORT: Millennium, Constant Contact, Salon Clouds
ASSOCIATIONS: PBA
“From the moment we closed we immediately started minimizing expenses. We were able to reduce our fixed expenses by almost 40%, through reductions and price breaks that our accounts were offering. We paid off our credit cards and suspended all unnecessary spending. This freed up our credit and cash reserves to focus on weathering the storm.”


 - Marcy Cona, owner of MC Salon + Spa in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.

Marcy Cona, owner of MC Salon + Spa in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.

MC Salon + Spa
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
mchair.com
Marcy Cona
SQUARE FEET: 5,000; 2,500
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 43
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $50
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: R+Co, Innsersense, Wella
COLOR: Wella
SKIN CARE: Arcona, Hemp Luxe
NAIL CARE: OPI, CND
TECH SUPPORT: Millennium, Salon Clouds Plus, ZeeZor, LaRu
ASSOCIATIONS: ICA
“We collaborated with a local wellness business to offer customized CBD facials, manicures and massage services.  In November and December of 2019, guests received a ‘gratitude’ offer to experience special pricing on CBD services in the first two month of 2020. This generated an important uptick in business which proved especially valuable, given the unexpected COVID-19 crisis and closure starting in March.”
 

 - Michelle Ghassemi, owner of Meraki Salon in Raleigh, NC.

Michelle Ghassemi, owner of Meraki Salon in Raleigh, NC.

Meraki Salon
Raleigh, NC
merakisalonnc.com
Michelle Ghassemi
SQUARE FEET: 1,096; 2,712
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 20
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $33
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Kevin Murphy, Oway, Innersense
COLOR: Kevin Murphy, Shades, Cor Color
TECH SUPPORT: Phorest
ASSOCIATIONS: PBA
“We did not lose client momentum when we came back, but we made sure to have prices that are commiserate to time and supplies needed.  Considering we were closed for two months, our YTD didn’t dip too low in profit, being down just 3.75%.” 
 

Gerry Rammelkamp and Mikel Sandoval, owners of Mikel’s The Paul Mitchell Experience in Tampa, FL.
 -

Gerry Rammelkamp and Mikel Sandoval, owners of Mikel’s The Paul Mitchell Experience in Tampa, FL.

Mikels The Paul Mitchell Experience
Tampa, FL
mikel.us
Mikel Sandoval and Gerry Rammelkamp
SQUARE FEET: 3,400
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 12
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $75
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Paul Mitchell
COLOR: Paul Mitchell
SKIN CARE: Pharmagel
NAIL CARE: OPI
TECH SUPPORT: Phorest
ASSOCIATIONS: PBA
“Once we reopened, we implemented a salon service charge with our Covid-19 consent form. This service fee goes directly to the business and helps to pay for a majority of our back bar costs as well as PPE. To date we have collected $20,973.71 in added revenue to the business.”


Team members from The Mitchell Wade Salon in Oviedo, FL, man a Pinktober Pop-Up.
 -

Team members from The Mitchell Wade Salon in Oviedo, FL, man a Pinktober Pop-Up.

The Mitchell Wade Salon
Oviedo, FL
Mitchellwade.com
Mitch Eubanks
SQUARE FEET: 1,400
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 16
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $50
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Bumble and Bumble, Morrocanoil, TIGI
COLOR: Wella, Pravana, Joico
SKIN CARE: Image
TECH SUPPORT: STX Cloud
ASSOCIATIONS: PBA
“Every year we participate in Pinktober with pink hair extensions, however, this year we were strictly appointment-based. To try to get as much community outreach as possible, we asked local businesses if they would like to partner with us on Pinktober Pop-Ups. We ended up participating with six businesses through the month of October raising money for the Central Florida Breasties organization.”
 

The team from Mirror Mirror outside the salon in Austin, TX.
 -

The team from Mirror Mirror outside the salon in Austin, TX.

Mirror Mirror Salon
Austin, TX
mirrormirroraustin.com
Martha Lynn Kale
SQUARE FEET: 2,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 23
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $75
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Virtue, Mb+co Hair Extensions, Living Proof
COLOR: Goldwell, Redken
TECH SUPPORT: Booker, ZeeZor
“Upon reopening, we expanded our extension business.  We have a unique opportunity in that one of our stylists created her own method of hand-tied extensions.  We went from three stylists offering the service to 10 stylists trained, and that has been instrumental with adding new revenue.” 
 

As part of the salon’s new safety protocol, a guest gets her temperature taken at one of the Modern Salon and Spa locations in Charlotte, NC.
 -

As part of the salon’s new safety protocol, a guest gets her temperature taken at one of the Modern Salon and Spa locations in Charlotte, NC.

Modern Salon and Spa
Charlotte, NC
modernsalonandspa.com
Arsalan Hafezi
SQUARE FEET: 4,000; 4,000; 4,000; 4,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 112-145
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $104
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Evo Hair, Organethic Pure Care, True Keratin
COLOR: Organethic Pure Care
SKIN CARE: Nelly Devuyst, Kripa Venezia, Organethic Pure Care
NAIL CARE: OPI, Kripa Venezia
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Zipwhip, ZeeZor, Constant Contact
ASSOCIATIONS: ICA, ISBN, I/SPA, PBA
“We host classes every Monday led by team members and outside educators to keep the team’s talents sharp. Additionally, every other Wednesday, we have mini-classes with team members and inspirational talks prior to the salon opening to remind our team what makes this industry the most beautiful—our joy of learning and creating beauty.”
 

Team members from Neroli Salon & Spa in Glendale, WI.
 -

Team members from Neroli Salon & Spa in Glendale, WI.

Neroli Salon & Spa-North Shore
Glendale, WI
nerolisalonspa.com
Susan Haise
SQUARE FEET: 7,800; 5,200; 4,900; 4,000; 3,500; 1,300
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 138
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $45
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda, Ultraceuticals
NAIL CARE: Zoya, OPI
TECH SUPPORT: Zenoti, Later
ASSOCIATIONS: ICA, ISBN, I/SPA, 2 to 10 
“We have created some successful virtual events and have added new services to our lineup in 2020. The most successful virtual event was our Ultraceuticals Virtual Workshop, which generated $1,000 in retail sales in 60 minutes. We also added brow lamination, lash lift services and Ashiatsu massage to our menu.” 
 

The team from Noggins Salon in Ridgeland, MS.
 -

The team from Noggins Salon in Ridgeland, MS.

Noggins Salon
Ridgeland, MS
nogginsorganicsalon.com
Kez and Gareth Broad
SQUARE FEET: 2,100
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 11
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $58
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: Salon Iris, Demandforce
“We’ve increased sales by growing our client base. We had a successful referral program that rewarded both the existing and the new client, but we switched the delivery method of our referral info to text messaging. This gained more traction, and we grew our client base.” 
 

NUOVO Salon Group
Sarasota, FL
nuovosalongroup.com
Terry McKee and James Amato
SQUARE FEET: 3,300; 3,000; 3,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 72
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $57
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda
NAIL CARE: Zoya, Smith & Cult
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Meet Your Stylist, Textel
ASSOCIATIONS: ICA, 2 to 10, PBA
“Not only are we known for our customer service, our community celebrates it by honoring our team with winnings in the three major ‘Best Of’ competitions in our city. We decided to toot our own horn—on the front door of each location—with a “Triple Crown” campaign that thanks our guests for voting for us!”

Staff from Nurtur Salon + Spa in Columbus, OH, work on a team-building exercise.
 -

Staff from Nurtur Salon + Spa in Columbus, OH, work on a team-building exercise.

Nurtur Salon + Spa
Columbus, OH
nurtursalon.com
Patrick Thompson
SQUARE FEET: 4,000; 1,200; 4,010
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 41
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $45
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Zenoti
ASSOCIATIONS: 2 to 10 Network
“We moved our scheduling services offsite and have implemented new technology to handle higher call volumes. We grew our call center to four full-time equivalents, who are 100% dedicated to scheduling, building relationships with guests, and providing great customer service for our salon.”

Omagi Salon Spa
Louisville, KY
Omagisalonspa.com
Marian Sang, Immy Moberly
SQUARE FEET: 2,500
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 31
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $65
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
SKIN CARE: Aveda
NAIL CARE: OPI
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz
ASSOCIATIONS: PBA
“We allocated time and resources for our recruiting manager to implement new initiatives, including better utilization of social media, event hosting, career fairs, demonstrations and ongoing visits to cosmetology schools. Before this change, we struggled to find talent—today, we have a steady stream of new applications.” 

Orbit Hair Design
So. Burlington, VT
orbitvt.com
Kerry Armstrong and Angela Ribolini
SQUARE FEET: 2,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 10
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $60
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Kevin Murphy, Goldwell, Ouidad
COLOR: Goldwell
TECH SUPPORT: Meevo 2
“We divided the staff into two equally balanced teams for our retail promotion, ‘A Game of Baseball.’ On a cumulative daily basis you could earn a single, double, triple or home run. Each team had to sell a minimum dollar amount over four weeks to qualify for the prize. We increased our retail sales by 20%.”

 - The team from Ottalaus Salon in Lehi, UT.

The team from Ottalaus Salon in Lehi, UT.

Ottalaus Salon
Lehi, UT
ottalaus.com
AnneMarie Krainich
SQUARE FEET: 2,500
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 32
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $38
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Kerastase, Kevin Murphy, Oribe
COLOR: Daviness, Redken
NAIL CARE: OPI
TECH SUPPORT: Phorest, Zeezor, Vish, Inca
ASSOCIATIONS: CC, ISBN, PBA
“We implemented Vish, a system that helps reduce color waste and makes sure we are charging the guest accurately for the color used, and we are saving $1,000 monthly. We started charging clients for the color amount used if it exceeds an allotted amount. That’s bringing in $900 monthly.”
 

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.