Jenna Conti is in the best place she’s ever been in her life. She has the suite of her dreams at Salons by JC (Lithia Crossing, Valrico, FL), a full book of clients who she adores and a husband who handles all her accounting—her only business challenge. Maybe that’s why she has such a lust for life that she encourages her clients to take a walk on the wild side with rainbow hair color and unleash their inner selves when cocooned at her Red Room of Vain, which is playfully named for that famous “50 Shades” Red Room.
“I’m a different kind of stylist,” says Jenna. “Even my 80-year olds feel free to share things you wouldn’t believe, because when they are in my suite, they know it’s all about them. I just want them to leave looking great and feeling fantastic about themselves.”
Things weren’t always so fantastic for Jenna herself. She endured a divorce. She had to re-learn how to walk after having a brain tumor removed. She even had to give up her not-for-profit that raised money for local children who were ill. To raise funds for hair pieces, toys and books, she would appear in a mermaid costume as “Eden Sirene,” but the accounting was complex and costly.
No jellyfish in the face of adversity, Jenna recovered from her setbacks, met her current husband at a mermaid tradeshow (he’s a software engineer, not a merman) and moved into a suite only to realize the rent was so high she had to work twice as hard just to cover the costs. This put her back in a chair-rental situation—the only thing that wasn’t working in her rebooted life.
“I moved rental chairs twice before I realized that they did not meet my primary need, which was to give my clients a unique, caring experience in a private space,” says Jenna. “Then I visited Salons by JC and fell in love with their attitude. They understood that I was taking my time to make a decision because I wanted it to be the last time I moved my business. They were very kind, the business was incredibly clean and I loved the fact they have a concierge who greets clients at the front. Clients don’t want to walk in and wonder what to do next.”
Jenna says that with each move, 100-percent of her clients followed her because she always goes “above and beyond.” For example? She not only offers wine but if a particular client loves a certain kind of chocolate, she brings it in the day of that woman’s appointment. (And it is a woman’s space, she sees just three men who were referred by their wives.) If a client needs an early morning or late-night appointment, she gets it. And while many are long-time friends, Jenna still calls or texts after appointments to be sure they are happy with their hair. If not, she says, she’ll fix it immediately.
Her current Salons by JC suite is close to where she worked the longest period of time, making it easy for all her faithful followers to reach. But she also gained new clients thanks to her referral program, which she’s never shared before.
“When a client refers someone to me, I give the referring client right back for free, the exact same services the referral got,” explains Jenna. “It can tell you, it beats every other program out there.”
Jenna, who offers cuts, color, hair smoothing treatments and more, says her only goal is to let women feel beautiful and amazing in her suite, which is “more than a salon.” In a way, it’s their happy place away from home. To buoy her own satisfaction, Jenna now appears in a new mermaid costume to raise money for various children’s charities. Her life today, she says, is like a fairy tale come true; even Eden Sirene got a happy ending.