After Bob and Nita Morlock became “grieving empty nesters,” they decided to start one last business venture before retiring.
They landed with Phenix Salon Suites and now have booming locations in Edina and Roseville, MN, both with a synergy of diverse professionals specializing in skin care, massage, body sculpting, eye lashes, chiropractics, body piercing, spray tanning, permanent make-up and hair implants in addition to nail technicians and hairstylists. “The variety has created a thriving business ecosystem where clients can receive services beyond what is available at a traditional salon,” Nita said.
That success came only after lots of careful research. Neither Nita nor Bob had a background in salons. He was a high-end custom home builder and she’d worked in corporate sales and marketing. Nita is currently a Realtor and they own rental homes. What did resonate with their experience was an opportunity to create something spectacular that would also help other professionals achieve their dreams.
“The idea of creating a beautiful salon where we would rent space sounded very exciting and rewarding,” Nita said. After searching franchise opportunities with a consultant, “what appealed to us most was the opportunity to help health and beauty professionals start their own businesses and be successful.”
The other thing that appealed to them about the salon concept was that “a haircut will never be replaced by the internet,” Nita said. The retail industry has seen an epic shift in shopping from brick-and-mortar to online stores like Amazon. “We felt this model would be a viable long-term investment for 10 to 20 years into the future.”
The Morlocks were pretty much sold on the salon suite concept but nothing wowed them, until they found Phenix Salon Suites.
Ken Aselton, Phenix Vice President of Franchise Development, was driving through a car wash but always takes the call. “We liked what we could hear over the sound of the car wash,” Nita said. Within a week, she and Bob were on a plane to see Phenix founders Gina and Jason Rivera. “Once we met them, we knew it was the company we wanted to go with. They really care about the industry and the salon professionals.”
Then they were on the hunt for locations. Robert Aertker, Phenix Director of National Real Estate, visited the Morlocks. “We had a location that we liked, but when he reviewed it against the Phenix salon density criteria, he ruled it out, and so we focused on other areas,” they said. Chief Operating Officer Jerry Griffith “has also been extremely helpful and responsive through the process and we’re thankful for his support.”
“Now that we’re open we have highly talented professionals at both of our locations,” NIta said. “Several are extremely successful and, as a result, have already been able to expand into double suites.”