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Kenilworth’s Hairsay Salon Secured by Dedicated Longtime Employee

Kenilworth’s Hairsay salon has withstood the test of time for 27 years, providing service that has proven to be a cut above.

Founded and owned by Glenview’s Ilene Leon, the business operates on the straightforward principle of putting people first. Further proving that time, on Jan. 4, Leon confidently handed over the reins of the business to her longtime worker, Carolyn Stoll, knowing that Hairsay will proceed to thrive.

“Once I first met Carolyn, somewhat over 14 years ago, I asked her one query,” Leon shared. ‘Cubs or White Sox?’ When she selected the Cubs, I hired her on the spot.”

LIttle did Leon know that her latest young, bubbly, and energetic worker would change into such an icon on the salon. Together with being exceptionally talented at her craft, Stoll shared Leon’s same business philosophy, making the 2 one of the best of friends, despite their nearly 30-year age gap.

Hairsay opened at 554 Green Bay Road in Kenilworth in 1997.

“Before I met Ilene, I almost left the industry,” Stoll said. “There was quite a lot of cattiness at my last place of employment. I started to think that this wasn’t the business for me, but all that modified once I stepped into Hairsay.”

The pair compare Hairsay to Cheers,  “It’s a spot where literally everyone knows one another’s names,” Stoll said.

Together with cultivating the kind of environment that retains clients through the many years, Hairsay’s worker retention rate is one to be applauded.

“They never leave,” Leon said. “It truly fascinates me.”

For instance, their legendary receptionist, John, who Leon describes as one in every of the neatest humans she knows, has worked at Hairsay for 22 years.

“We could be lost without him,” Leon said. “Funny, he got here for the interview on the suggestion of a friend, vowing he’d never work at a salon. Well, we clearly modified his mind.”

When Leon and Stoll reflected on the low worker turnover rate, in unison they proudly declared “we’re a family.”

“See? We are able to finish one another’s sentences and take the words right out of one another’s mouths,” Leon laughed.

Leon also shared that providing advantages reflects her business philosophy.

“It was all the time vital to me that my employees had what they needed to plan for the longer term and handle themselves,” Leon said.

Stoll said she couldn’t agree more and has already made moves to take payroll, investments, advantages, scheduling, and more into the twenty first century.

“Hairsay has all the time been a money and check sort of business, but we’re moving on with the times, making it easier for our clients to navigate all elements of Hairsay,” Stoll said.

Stoll can also be developing the web site and stepping up their social media presence through Facebook and Instagram.

For Stoll, becoming a business owner is in her blood. A lot of her relations owned their very own businesses, so it’s a walk of life with which she is familiar. She knows that being a business owner is an honorable responsibility. In reality, Stoll, Leon, and your entire staff of Hairsay said the one time they were closed on a Saturday was during Stoll’s wedding in 2016.

“All the staff dedicated their time to my hair and makeup after which joined us for the celebration,” Stoll recalled.

While the work often requires long hours and few days off, Stoll wouldn’t have it some other way and has her sights set on growth.

“I might like to see us attract latest clients, possibly even grow into a much bigger space,” Stoll said. “Who knows. The sky’s the limit but I also want to take a seat back and embrace all that now we have and just enjoy this phase too”

Leon chimed in, “Don’t sweat it, you might have 27 more years to make all of it occur.”

Hairsay is positioned at 554 Green Bay Road in Kenilworth. Together with haircuts and color, Hairsay offers nail services and waxing. Stoll and Leon claim that Pam is an eyebrow magician and everybody must come see her.

“Seriously, it’s like getting a nonsurgical brow lift at Hairsay; come see Pam. Your face won’t ever look higher,” Leon said.

For more information, call (847) 855-0022 or email

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