When salon professionals say they love your Phenix franchise so much that they never want to leave, you know you’re doing something right.
“Our customers are the salon professionals,” said Donnie DeYoung, who opened the Denver location at Tamarac Square in May with his wife, Deb. He credits her as property manager with making the place hum.
“She just does a wonderful job,” said DeYoung, who works in wealth management but counts a season as a guard for the Washington Redskins in his professional career.
“I always wanted to get into the salon industry since I was very young,” said Deb DeYoung. She loves the artistry and clearly has a knack for personal relationships.
“She is a people person, so this is the perfect business for her,” said husband Donnie. “She loves being helpful,” and that’s something that the salon professionals greatly appreciate. “We know that it’s their livelihood, and by getting things taken care of right away, they know that we care.”
That has included work on a buggy HVAC system and repairs after flooding from a leaky roof. “I like things done now!” said Deb DeYoung, who was at the salon three days a week getting things started and working out glitches. Now she spends about a day a week there.
The rewards have been more than financial. Deb was a stay-at-home mom for more than two decades before managing the Tamarac location. “It’s amazing how fulfilled I am now,” she said.
When Deb walks in, the salon professionals are giving her hugs, “and when she leaves they are giving her hugs and kisses and asking when she’ll be back,” Donnie DeYoung said. Her presence has generated a genuine family atmosphere that naturally follows the lead set by Gina and Jason Rivera, Phenix founders, and President and CEO respectively.
While Deb works the front line, Donnie handles the numbers and other background administration. The Phenix Salon Suite has been a perfect fit with his work as a wealth manager. “It’s very similar,” he said. “It’s about timely service and communication and if you provide that, you’re going to have great results.” The DeYoungs had 90 percent of the space rented at opening and now keep a waiting list.
The connection between the salon industry and his career in pro football is somewhat more tenuous. “Playing in the NFL, it’s a rough game, a very physical, violent game,” DeYoung said, clearly not a long-term gig. “The intensity of the collisions is 10 times what they are even in college.”
This life lesson transferred well to financial services and the salon industry: “In sports, in particular, I learned that you get out of it what you put into it. I wanted to be rewarded my efforts, didn’t want a 9-to-5 type position.”
“Our customers are the salon professionals,” he said. “We do everything we can to make this a place where they can build their business, grow and thrive.”