After receiving his cosmetology license, Saint Petersburg native Joe Connell began working as a hair stylist, developing and perfecting his craft at a few local salons.
It wasn't long before visions of opening his
own salon started to develop and soon this young entrepreneur began planning what would become his
lifelong commitment to excellence.
With a Corvette as collateral, Joe
secured a loan to purchase a small 600 square foot building at the intersection of 9th Street and 23rd Avenue.
It was humble and in dire need of renovation, but in one long weekend of hard work, the Connell family cleaned, scrubbed, laid down new flooring, built hair stations and prepared everything else that was needed to open.
The new four chair, two employee, "J.Con Hair Designs" opened its doors December 5, 1978.
In 1980 the salon was thriving (they had their first $600 day that year!) and Joe
strongly believed that education and a "no limit" philosophy were what the future generation of stylists needed in order to achieve their life and career goals.
would encourage his
stylists to gather around, take notes and watch him as he
example, they not only learned how to cut hair, but they learned the importance of developing client relationships.
Back then, it was all about the people, just as it is today.
Joe's gift of conversation made him a natural at attracting new clients.
The salon was growing at a rapid pace and it became hard to get an appointment with him or his
knew that in order to still encourage growth and accommodate their clients, he
needed to foster a "pre-booking" culture.
This practice caught on quickly and it was soon evident . . . he
was going to need a bigger salon.
stylists to work hard and knew that with more business would come more renovations.
In 2002, Joe met with a real estate agent about a location further South on 4th Street.
Formally "Luby's Cafe", the restaurant had been vacant for over two years.
Even though it would need a lot of work to convert into a salon, Joe
knew this building was perfect for J.Con's future.
Over the years, Joe
has continued his
journey of personal growth.
In 2003, he became a formal leadership student.
has developed tried and true business and motivation tactics to encourage stylists and employees to reach their full potential.