With this first story, SALON TODAY launches a new series of columns—“Meet Our Owner” and “Meet My Manager” that details the characteristics behind successful managers or salon owners. Our first owner to be profiled is Kristin Knetchges, co-owner of Kismet Salon in Madison, Wisconsin, who was profiled by Brittney Kurutz, the salon’s manager.
SALON TODAY: Tell us about Kristin Knetchges, the co-owner and leader for Kismet Salon.
Brittney Kurutz: Kristin understands that it is the people she leads that determine the success or failure of the business. She surrounds herself with great people who can cultivate into a team of competent and confident individuals who can work well together.
SALON TODAY: Give us a bit of history about Kismet Salon.
Kurutz: Kristin met Raimonda Rushiti (Monda) through a mutual friend three years ago. As their relationship grew, Kristin found out Monda owned her own salon and had the knowledge of how to run the business side and Kristin had the vision of what she wanted her future salon to be. Kristin started her career by studying Industrial Design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Upon completion she moved to Madison and began work as a surgical tech. Kristin wanted to use the skills she had developed throughout her career to make a difference in people's life so she then enrolled at Aveda Institute in Madison. Kristin has been working with Aveda for the past eight years. Monda was born and raised in Chicago. Between herself and her husband they own seven businesses—three of those are hair salons.
SALON TODAY: What characteristics make Kristin a good leader?
Kurutz: Kristin is a selfless leader who sacrifices in order to enhance the lives of those around her. She is very respectful and truly cares about those around her. She doesn’t like to be called the “boss” as she is on the floor with us. I feel like she’s more focused on our team goals, keeping the team focused and motivated in order to achieve our goals. As a business owner and boss, Kristin is open and transparent taking feedback and using it to improve Kismet.
SALON TODAY: How does her leadership contribute to the culture of the salon?
Kurutz: Kristin has helped to cultivate a culture of positivity and professional growth. Through my personal and professional relationship with Kristin she has inspired and pushed me to new levels of my career. She gave me the motivation to push out of my comfort zone and develop the skills to not only get Kismet started but push it to a place where it is a thriving salon that not only enriches the people we serve but the people that work alongside of us to make Kismet whole.
If you’d like to nominate an owner or a manager for this column, please email Stacey Soble at firstname.lastname@example.org.