Owner, Joe's Salon
Owner, Joe's Salon
Karen Ross grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and moved her life to New Milford, Connecticut in the late 1970’s. She attended hairdressing school. As mom to a young daughter, the creativity and flexibility of the career appealed to her. After graduating, she started working in salons around town and quickly realized she wanted to own her own.
There was a barbershop in town called “Joe’s Barbershop,” also known as “Joe By The Show” because he was located right next to the Bank Street Theater in Milford. Realizing that there may be an opportunity to secure that location, she approached the 80-year old owner and said that she was interested in taking over the business when he was ready to retire. To Karen’s luck, it was a short two weeks when he called her saying he was in fact, ready to retire.
In 1982, Karen assumed ownership of the 200 sq. ft. space, starting with simple cuts. When her client base outgrew that site, she purchased a building across the street with two spacious floors; three times the size of her first shop. Karen’s expansion also included the hiring of half a dozen new stylists.
More success saw the creation of a full-scale spa on the second floor. The spa offers waxing, tinting, massages, facials and more.
“Everything always felt right and not rushed… I always felt like it just organically grew and I knew when it was time to do the next thing.”
Karen has also made it of the utmost importance to give back to both local and national charities. Just a few of them are: The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, Children with Hair Loss and the New Milford Youth Agency. Joe’s Salon has also created a Free Wig Fund which allows the salon to offer wigs to those in need with little to no cost.
Joe’s Salon and Spa has been recognized for three years by Salon Today as one of the top 200 salons in America, an amazing accomplishment to say the least.
“I love when clients that came in as children, now bring their own kiddos into Joe’s. It’s the best feeling.”
During the pandemic, Karen decided to apply for several business grants. Her office manager received a newsletter about the WBDC grant and she applied immediately. With the funds received from the grant, Karen was able to transition her business with new, and much needed, technology. She purchased better computer hardware and upgraded her platforms that assist in front and back of house management.
Karen is now always excited when she sees an email from WDBC come in her inbox and loves to stay current on everything happening within the organization.
“My office manager and I are always listening to WBDC’s webinars and the insight into our own business from them is endless,” Karen said. “I am so thankful an organization like this exists in our small state.”