In a loft on 39th Street in 2001, Gemy opened Studio 39 on July 5th when she was 24. Eight weeks later 9/11 occurred. Opening a business that young during that time would shape both her and the salon. Everyone’s future seemed uncertain, but the nation united in compassion and strength and she focused on making the salon a place that brought people together. The 39th Street community was a neighborhood of diverse shops and restaurants, a perfect place for a studio of artistic style. Areas of specialty work were rare in salons and her way of cutting and color soon gained attention. She began working with assistants to serve her large clientele but was still wait-listed for months, but her assistants were developing into stylists. With the belief that success can be taught and shared, the answer was obvious. The salon grew in staff and client base alike. Those stylists eventually became mentors and Studio 39 became a Kansas City favorite. The team consists of stylists chosen for personality, skill and talent. Over the years they have fund-raised for toy drives, shelters, oil spill cleanup, wildlife rescue, after school programs, sponsored families in need, and volunteered at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Since September of 2001, Studio 39 has offered a discount to military, law enforcement and first responders.
Becoming a Signature KC Salon
In late 2008 a recession came that would impact small business. While many were downsizing or closing, Studio 39 was evolving. Leaving 39th street was hard but growth required a different space. She found a sleek gallery space in the emerging West Side/Crossroads area and kept “Studio 39” to honor the salon’s origin. After a brief maternity leave in 2010 she began construction in the Westside art gallery space. It marked the beginning of an era of growth and two years later expansion was needed again. This time she wanted a space they could not outgrow but downtown development had come to a halt. In 2012 she found a 4,000 square foot warehouse in the historic Bottling District and her largest project began. On January 2nd 2013 once again S39 opened its doors. The eclectic style of 39th street and colors of the Westside gallery created the new salon location and the Studio 39 Brand. The large zen inspired urban escape sits on the south edge of the Crossroads off Broadway and I-35. In April of 2019 Studio 39 of Lakewood opened in Lee’s Summit. Now Studio 39 Downtown serves as a flagship for future locations.
I grew up in a family that owned a construction business but chose a different path, so I never thought of the salon as a” family business”. In our staff we have sisters, cousins, and best friends and our guests see we enjoy being together. I don’t just look for future stylists, I look for future partners. In a way we are a family business.
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