Beauty professionals open salons at MY SALON Suite in Abington

Owners of Billionaire Babe Co. Kalyn Hines, left, and Shaquetta Jackson, right. (Photo Courtesy Joshua Woodroffe, pixelMIGHT)

Gee’ology Beauty owner Georginia Weston at MY SALON Suite in Abington. (Photo Courtesy Joshua Woodroffe, pixelMIGHT)

This photo shows Glamed by Jackie owner Jackie Stepps at the MY SALON Suite red carpet event Feb. 28 in Abington. (Photo Courtesy Joshua Woodroffe, pixelMIGHT)

This photo shows the MY SALON Suite in the Abington Shopping Center. (Photo Courtesy Joshua Woodroffe, pixelMIGHT)

Andrew and Jenn Navarro, owners of the MY SALON Suite in Abington. (Photo Courtesy Joshua Woodroffe, pixelMIGHT)

ABINGTON — When Shaquetta Jackson turned 29 in August, she decided it was time to go into business for herself.

Four months later, she and Kalyn Hines, a co-worker at a hair salon in Northeast Philly, opened Billionaire Babe Co., specializing in microlink extensions, at MY SALON Suite in the Abington Shopping Center.

“I knew I wanted to own my own business,” said Jackson, a graduate of the Milton Hershey School and Empire Beauty School in Wyncote. The ability to control her schedule — “I needed a special schedule because my son is autistic” — and financial freedom were among the reasons, she said.

“We were commission-based at the other salon; here the sky is the limit,” Jackson said. “It’s the best decision I ever made.”

“We caught this when they were building it,” Hines said. “It’s a new concept. The people are friendly, very attentive. It can be as big as you can ever imagine. We’re hoping to franchise the business someday.”

Financial freedom, controlling one’s schedule and developing a brand were reasons cited by some of the 31 business owners renting space at MY SALON Suite, a franchise owned by Jenn and Andrew Navarro, during a Feb. 28 red carpet event at which members cut the ribbon and received a ceremonial key to their suite.

The Navarros, of Villanova, owners of MY SALON Suites in Suburban Square in Ardmore and Lawrence Park in Broomall, have a 15-year lease for the 6,300 square feet of space at the 1417 Old York Road location and rent the spaces to the salon professionals, Jenn Navarro said.

MY SALON Suite is a co-working style space where salon professionals provide beauty services to their clients in private, fully-equipped, custom suites, according to a press release. There are more than 200 franchised MY SALON Suite locations across the U.S. and Canada, including seven MY SALON Suites across Bucks (2), Chester (2), Delaware (1) and Montgomery (2) counties.

At the Abington location, members offer hair, nail and skin services, as well as teeth whitening and other personal services.

“This is an opportunity to try out salon ownership,” said Jenn Navarro, who previously worked in sales and sales management. “For the young it is a work-life balance. For older ones, they don’t want the burden of keeping an independent salon.

“All of them come from a different place,” she said. “Some just want the place and others are looking for a support system.”

The Navarros built the blank space into suites, with finishing touches provided by those who rent the salons, she said. They also provide business coaching and education on growth and flexibility and changes in the cosmetology field, she said.

“I saw this and loved it,” said Jackie Stepps, a makeup artist who previously worked with Jackson and Hines and has her Glamed by Jackie salon next to them. “I got a lot of new clients from walk-ins.

“I specialize in bridal and special occasions, but also do eyelashes and eyebrow tint,” she said. “I get a lot of people saying it’s for a photo shoot or just their birthday.”

“This is all-inclusive, an upscale building, has parking; it’s everything you need to build your business,” said Georginia Weston, owner of Gee’ology Beauty, which offers “overall hair care,” including extensions, cut and color and hair care for those with hair loss such as alopecia. “This was perfect.”

A licensed hair stylist and teacher, Weston — who has her own hair care line — previously spent six years as a master colorist at Ulta and in a partnership in a Willow Grove salon for 15 years.

A resident of Abington, Weston is working on a two-year program to get a certificate in trichology, the study and treatment of hair loss.

Going out on her own was “less stress for me and to focus on my brand, Na’ology Beauty,” she said. “It took me 15 years to develop the formulation with chemists. Here I could launch the product line because it’s solely me.”

“We got a lot of calls from the Northeast pocket of Philadelphia,” Jenn Navarro said, referring to the choice of Abington. “It’s a great trade area. COVID slowed us down, but now the space is full.

“Essentially we’re a landlord. We handle maintenance for the space, clean the halls and bathrooms. Seventy percent of the businesses are hair salons,” she said. “The other 30% are everything from facials and waxing to massage and teeth whitening, hydration and nail salons.

“It’s meant to be a one-stop beauty complex.”

The Navarros are in the planning stages of opening salon suites in Plymouth Meeting and the Roosevelt Mall in Philadelphia, she said.

“It’s illegal to rent a chair in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, so how about renting a suite,” Jenn said. “I saw an opportunity that wasn’t being met. It’s an opportunity to do it a way they [salon owners] want to do it.”

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