Our History in Kansas City
Our history started before Studio 39 was created because Gemy knew a stylist can positively impact an individual. So she believed a salon could do the same for a community. The studio opened in the eclectic 39th street neighborhood on July 5th 2001, she was 24. Just 8 weeks later 9/11 occurred. Lifting people’s spirits by serving the community became her goal for the salon. She wanted to achieve this by helping people feel good while bringing them together. Unity through beauty became the salons unofficial mission statement.
Our History of Unity
Salon specialty work is part of our history, but it was rare then. Soon her approach to beauty drew attention and her clientele grew. Hiring salon assistants helped serve her large customer base, but a few years she was wait listed for months. The salon assistants developed into stylists. The belief success can be taught and shared became a key part of our salon culture. Those stylists became mentors as well, and S39 became a Kansas City top salon. Since 2001 Studio 39 has offered a Military and First Response discount.
Our History in Kansas City Neighborhoods
2008 brought a recession that affected our economy, especially small service based businesses. Many were downsizing or closing but the salon grew. After finding a gallery space in the West Side/Crossroads she came off maternity leave early to supervise construction. The two years there marked an era of change and and soon another expansion was needed. But this time she wanted a space they couldn’t outgrow.
From a local salon to a local brand.
Downtown KC development was booming before the recession but had come to a halt. It made searching difficult but our history proves sometimes good things happen by accident. Which was how she found a vacant 4,000 square foot warehouse in the historic Bottling District off Broadway. The large sunlit building had a peaceful character and within a few months her largest salon construction project began.
January 2nd, 2013 Studio 39 re-opened for the 3rd time in 11 years and the downtown location has always been in buildings that are part of KC history. Designing the salon was easy because she wanted it to reflect the Boho vibe of 39th street, and the colors of the Art Deco West-side gallery. Studio 39 Downtown is now a flagship to Studio 39 of Lakewood of Lee’s Summit. By honoring the history of the salon in Kansas City, Gemy built the Studio 39 brand.
Our History of Passion Projects
Gemy used to volunteer at Children’s Mercy and by comforting kids in cancer treatment isolation, she saw the therapeutic benefit of creative play. “Beauty parlor” was a favorite game with the little girls, so she brought rollers and brushes to set up a mini salon in the playroom. Former Chiefs player and cancer survivor Eric Berry’s Stock The Shoppe is a toy drive we participated in for 4 years. It provides a free toy store to families in treatment during Christmas so they can give gifts without leaving the hospital.
Travis Kelce & Walk the Walk
In 2015 Chiefs player Travis Kelce hosted the first Walk the Walk fashion show through his foundation 87 & Running. We were honored to be invited to participate as the sponsor salon. It is now the largest charity fashion event in Kansas City and proceeds benefit the kids of Operation Breakthrough.
The project matches our goal in creating community unity because it helps children build confidence through opportunities. Travis’s foundation is our year round fundraising focus because this event aids in expanding the education and development programs offered through Operation Breakthrough. If you would like to help us meet our annual fundraising goal you can donate online here.
I grew up in a family business but it was construction and I 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 who love helping others feel beautiful. Our guests can see and feel the energy of the salon. We truly enjoy being together and often hear comments about how the salon vibe is positive.
I think that’s important for any level of success for an individual and a business. That’s why I don’t just look for future stylists, I look for future partners. So in a way, we are a family business.
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