The affluent community of Flossmoor, Ill. — a village 30 miles south of downtown Chicago — has an abundance of high-end beauty salons and spas. But one in particular stands out when it comes to embracing green business practices.
Jonathan Kane Salon & Spa is not only one of the trendiest places to get pampered in Chicagoland, but also one of the most environmentally conscious competitors in its category.
“We had gone through a sustainability study here at the salon and then we did a zero waste audit where we audited all of our waste,” reveals Larry Kane, who owns and operates the salon with his wife, Kathy Kane. “We’re working to become a zero waste salon.”
So far, the effort is yielding stellar results. Since starting the company, Kane says, the salon has reduced its garbage to the dumpster by 75%.
“We’re concentrating on the environment and really trying to reduce our carbon footprint,” Kane asserts. “That’s always been important to the mission.”
So is projecting the right image to its upscale clientele. “My middle name is Jonathan,” he explains. “Larry is not easy to market: Larry drinks beer. Jonathan drinks wine.”
Opened in February 2010, Jonathan Kane Salon & Spa caters to customers who appreciate its high-quality services and its commitment to all things cutting-edge and eco-friendly in the beauty business.
“I’ve been a hairdresser since 1979,” Kane says. “I was behind the chair for about 10 years and then got into management of salons. Eventually, I found myself with a company that got sold to Procter & Gamble. We were out in Connecticut. I decided to move back to Chicago with my wife and family.
“When we landed here,” he recalls, “I said, ‘You know what, let’s not ever have to move again. Let’s try to find something and call it our own.’ And so I started looking around to buy an existing salon. I befriended the owner of the building that I eventually bought. He had a price about seven years ago that was out of the question. In 2009, he approached me and said, ‘I think I have a price that you and the bank are going to like.’ So, we started moving forward, and in 2010 we bought the building, the furniture, fixtures, and equipment. And we inherited seven staff members.”
Three years later, business is booming. “We have tripled the staff and doubled the revenue,” Kane boasts.
But, as with any thriving enterprise, it’s essential to consider the future. Kane says he constantly strives to improve his offerings. To that end, he submitted a heartfelt wish to Intuit’s Small Business Growing Strong campaign.
“We have a wonderful team of co-workers that have embraced our efforts to be the best salon and spa in the area,” Kane wrote, explaining that his wish was for “new eco-friendly styling chairs and stations” and “more comfortable shampoo bowls.”
He added: “Secondly, I would build on our efforts to be a zero-waste salon and spend the remaining money to do what it takes to get closer to that goal. We live in an outstanding and diverse community that has supported and grown with us for three years. This would be a great way to pay them back for that support.”
In the end, the environmentally savvy hairdresser’s wish made the cut. “This is so exciting,” Kane says. “I can’t wait to tell the staff. If I wasn’t in my office, I would probably be up in the salon screaming. This is amazing. Thank you!
“Being in an image-based business, staying current with color palettes, furniture, and equipment always makes people realize that you’re evolving and not just staying put,” he says. “We will have furniture that’s as eco-friendly as possible, but it will also show our clientele that we’re staying on top of the way things look.”
Intuit’s Small Business Growing Strong campaign is announcing one winner a day through May 24, 2013. Check out the list of current winners and find out whether we’ve granted your wish.