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Exploring Life & Business with Jenny Knudsen of Mane Attraction Salon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Knudsen.

Hi Jenny, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi! I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After graduating from California State University-San Marcos I  moved to AZ in 2007 with my husband Chris to be closer to family.

Chris had decided he was going to follow in his parent’s footsteps and attend Cosmetology school to become a hairstylist and with a goal of eventually one day open his own salon. When I realized how serious he was about becoming a hairstylist and eventually pursuing his dream of owning a salon I decided I wanted to gain experience working in the industry in hopes of someday working together to build our own business. I spent a couple of years working at a salon as a front desk manager and really enjoyed it. What I liked most about working in the salon was that every day was different, no task was mundane, and each client interaction was unique and rewarding.

I learned the ins and outs of managing the front end of a salon, customer service, booking software, and retail. In 2009, we welcomed our first child and I decided to stay home with our daughter. I spent 7 years at home with our children and in 2016 we took the leap to become equity partners at Mane Attraction Salon where Chris had been working since he graduated from cosmetology school in 2008. At that time, I came on part-time to help with strategic planning and bookkeeping.

Over the years, I took on more and more, learning new things as my role grew, attending business seminars and learning from industry leaders and in 2020 Chris and I become the sole owners buying out our business partners. Today, I run the behind-the-scenes portion of the business and Chris is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations. I am thrilled to work alongside my husband, as the third generation of husband and wife owners, to continue to grow the impact that Mane Attraction Salon has had in the Phoenix area since 1977.

Outside of the salon you can find me on the soccer field cheering on our son and daughter and spending time with my family and our three rescue dogs. I have also been a Girl Scout Leader since 2015 and enjoy working with my scouts to empower them to be strong, confident women.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
HA! No, it has not been smooth sailing, but I will say that even with all the things we have endured I wouldn’t change a thing because if it weren’t for those challenges we wouldn’t have been pushed to grow.

We have endured the untimely death of a business partner, the closure of our business due to the pandemic, and recovery from that closure. We have learned to run a business that was previously run with 4 active owners to now with only two.

We have endured staffing challenges, product shortages, vendor challenges, and the stress of navigating the new normal in our high-touch environment. So basically, at this point, my husband and I are not fazed by much. We always joke that we experienced so much chaos so early on that anything that happens from here on out will be a ‘piece of cake’.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Mane Attraction Salon has been a premier luxury salon in Phoenix since 1977. We were built on the philosophy of advanced education, a passion for what we do, and elevating the client experience. We continuously strive to be an elite group of talented stylists who focus on delivering a high-end salon experience in an approachable way.

We are proud to be an Aveda salon carrying Aveda’s full line of environmentally conscious, plant-based, vegan hair and skincare line. Mane Attraction Salon specializes in all hair services from haircuts, color, extensions, texture, and styling. Our three points of difference are our commitment to the education of our team, our concierge service, and our philanthropic commitment.

Our Commitment to Education: At MAS we are committed to initial training but continual training, as well. We focus on 4 education classes each year. These classes include technical training as well as training in other areas like communication or even courses in posture or managing money. We believe in not only elevating our team technically for their craft but in all life skills.

Our Commitment to the Client Experience: With each guest’s visit we strive to deliver an elevated experience. From the warm welcome from our Client Care Coordinators to the in-depth consultation, the relaxing back and scalp massage, the professionalism of your stylist, and the curated selection of products specifically for your hair needs we strive to go above and beyond to make your time with us extra special.

Our Commitment to Philanthropy: Through our philanthropic efforts we have given back to many community organizations such as PACC911, Feed My Starving Children, Love Society, St. Mary’s Food Bank, and a New Leaf. Our most well-known Annual Fundraiser ‘Beauty to the Rescue’ just celebrated 22 years and we look forward to raise funds for the animal community with this event each spring.

Over the years we have raised $394,000 for local animal rescues.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
You can’t manufacture antiques. Some things will never change for our industry. It was built on the ability to connect with clients, make them feel valued, heard, and ultimately bring out the best version of themselves. How we connect with our clients is changing. The number of times we connect is changing.

What clients want to talk about is changing. We have had to make some major enhancements to our software and communication platforms to make that line of communication easier, quicker, and personalized to what each of our customers prefers. We are walking into an interesting era where we will see a strong intersection of clients wanting high tech, but also yearning for high touch.

Clients want to book an appointment in under 2 min on the salon’s app from their phone at 1 am. In the morning, they will want a warm person on the phone if they call to discuss an add-on, they thought about doing. If a client has a challenge, they will want someone to be empathic on the phone to handle their situation quickly and without a lot of red tape. Some of our guests are working from home, are single (don’t even have pets), and do zoom happy hours.

We are the only touchpoints for some of our clients. We can’t take responsibility and opportunity lightly. The future of our industry is to combine modern technology with the way we touch the lives of our guests. From the products that our brands produce to the technology used to give a world-class consultation.

I see a world where the mirror doubles as a computer and can show you in real-time what you would look like with bangs, a bob haircut, or pink hair, and the ability to text that picture to the client for them to think about for next time. However,  it will take a real person, with a real connection, who is passionate about the client for those to blend into the perfect salon.

Our industry is built on relationships and that relationship can be enhanced, but not replaced, by a computer program.

Contact Info:

  • Email: jenny@maneattractionsalon.com
  • Website: maneattractionsalon.com
  • Instagram: @maneattractionsalonphx
  • Facebook: @maneattractionsalon

Image Credits
Yellow Room Photography

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