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When Kenna Ehman and Lauren Kunijo set out to launch a salon, they wanted to be more than just a place to cut hair.
They wanted to be a home for creativity, a social enterprise making a difference, and a training ground for future generations of talent. That’s exactly what they’ve accomplished with Kenna Kunijo since opening in 2018.
Kenna Kunijo has already grown to 13 employees and amassed a huge book of business in booming South End.
All that’s led Kenna and Lauren to be named finalists for the Axios Charlotte Small Businessperson of the Year award in the Style category.
Get to know Kenna and Lauren and learn from their success through these five questions.
What’s the first hour of your day look like?
Lauren: I wake up, make coffee, hit a workout session then fly home to get ready for work at 7.
Kenna: Coffee. We start at 7 a.m. every day with clients which means we get in at 6:30 to set up.
What’s the most valuable business lesson you’ve learned?
Lauren: To trust my people. I am definitely a control freak and would often just finish a task rather than have someone else handle it and potentially do differently than I’d prefer. Learning to trust the amazing team that surrounds me has been truly a growth moment for me!! Trusting that they are apart of KK for a reason and have a love for the brand as I do!
Kenna: Trust your team and let people go who don’t align with your vision.
What’s a recent purchase of less than $100 that you love?
Lauren: My LL Bean tote bag. My life; snacks, water, workout clothes, and products are in there!
Kenna: A phone case that charges my phone.
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Lauren: “Girl, Wash Your Face”!
Kenna: “Listen Love Repeat” by Karen Ehman