A common thread in Medina is how multiple generations run many of the family-owned businesses around town. When getting to know the area’s commerce, one can’t help but notice how the Dorweilers, Fortins, Schmidts, Pedersons, Raskobs and Leuers are mainstays throughout the history of the area, amidst many, many more.
A prime example can be found in the mother-daughter team at Kalla Lily Salon and Spa, owners Marilou Evenson and Melissa Ebert Nenovich, coming from a long time family business, Ebert Construction.
Melissa was working at a salon in Eden Prairie in business development and marketing with the end goal of management in mind. Opportunely, one of Marilou’s friends knew the owner of Karrin’s Salon in Maple Grove was looking for a manager. “I started there in 2004, and Karrin told me she had a 10 year plan to eventually sell the salon. She asked if I would be interested.” Melissa continues, “then, 10 years turned to two when she got married and was ready to let go of the salons and the stress.” Initially Karrin had a buyer for her Coon Rapids location, but when that deal fell through, she opted to sell the salons as a package deal. At the time Melissa was 26 years old. Unable to do it on her own, she approached her mom and asked if she would join her. “Why not?” Marilou said. “And we jumped right in.”
When looking to change the salons’ name, Melissa and Marilou were interested in keeping the “K” for “Karrin’s” to pay tribute to her. While brainstorming ideas with their staff, the name Calla Lily surfaced. It resonated with the mother-daughter team because of Melissa’s childhood nickname, Lily. By changing the “C” to a “K” the brand “Kalla Lily” had meaning – they owned Karrin’s Salon for one year in 2006 before changing to Kalla Lily Salon and Spa in 2007.
Maple Grove proved to be an easy transition since Melissa had already managed that location, but Coon Rapids was a bit more challenging. “We were attempting to merge the brand, but the two salons were very different.” Marilou explained. “I was trying to figure out how to both blend and extend our brand in both locations,” Melissa added. With Karrin having expanded the space just prior to selling the salons, the added expenditure made it difficult to make the two locations work together. The Coon Rapids salon closed when its lease ended. “I knew when this Medina mall went up exactly where we’d land,” Melissa explained. “We live here, we know this area and I told my mom, ‘that’s where our salon is going to be.’”
In addition to all hair services, Kalla Lily offers massage therapy and extensive skin care services such as Skin Pen, Laser Treatments, and extensive peels. They offer everything from the basic facial for first time spa guests, to catering to those who are very experienced with a more comprehensive skin care regiment.
“Since they were very young, our kids were always exposed to and involved with everything surrounding the businesses,” Marilou says. With such an array of services and aspects of running a family owned business, it wouldn’t be surprising if someday we see Melissa’s two children, Lucas and Madeline, as the next generation behind the scenes or behind the counter continuing Medina’s trend and priority for supporting locally owned and operated family businesses.