September 24, 2018
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  • Jessica Kenealy (center), who recently became the owner of Rumors Retreat Salon & Day Spa, said her reliable staff has been instrumental in ensuring an easy transition. “I didn’t realize how much I missed the camaraderie of having many coworkers,” she said. “The staff here is really amazing.”
    Photo by Dylan Roche
    Jessica Kenealy (center), who recently became the owner of Rumors Retreat Salon & Day Spa, said her reliable staff has been instrumental in ensuring an easy transition. “I didn’t realize how much I missed the camaraderie of having many coworkers,” she said. “The staff here is really amazing.”

New Ownership Carries On 30-Year Tradition At Rumors Salon & Day Spa

Dylan Roche
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February 21, 2018

Although Jessica Kenealy enjoyed running a 500-square-foot hair salon out of her home for 10 years, she knew that she wanted to move on to something bigger eventually. When a friend approached her with word that Helen Neisser, owner of Rumors Retreat Salon & Day Spa, was retiring and looking to sell her business, Kenealy knew that owning the salon was just the job calling she sought.

“I used to come here when I was younger,” the Pasadena native and Chesapeake High graduate said. “It just happened to be that at a pinnacle point, when I was looking to start making a change, it just fell into my lap.”

The transition ended up being easier than she expected and even brought a few pleasant surprises. “I didn’t realize how much I missed the camaraderie of having many coworkers,” she said. “The staff here is really amazing.”

Kenealy’s team is composed of about 25 employees, a mix of part- and full-timers representing hair stylists, masseuses, aestheticians, nail techs and support staff. Kenealy has found that the skills she gained in her past professional experiences – particularly her years as a hair model with the cosmetics company Goldwell, for which she traveled around the country going to hair education events – has prepared her for helping her staff be the best they can be. “I get a lot of gratification from doing something that makes a difference in one of their experiences,” she said. “I love to see the light bulbs go off. I feel appreciated in a different way.”

In the four months she has been with Rumors, Kenealy has started the process of renovating the salon’s interior, striving to make it feel brighter and more spacious. Making such major changes brings its challenges because Kenealy spends 40 hours a week behind the chair doing hands-on work in addition to her ownership responsibilities.

She has also made a point of expanding the salon’s community outreach, which is a project she hopes to continue in 2018. Already, she and her team have participated in a contest to provide a “day of beauty” for 10 local moms, who were pampered with hair and makeup services. Another successful event was Christmas with the Princesses, when she and her team dressed up as Disney heroines to visit with a crowd of 80 young girls who brought a collective 120 toys to donate to Toys For Tots.

“It was great for our team building and everyone got a lot out of it,” Kenealy said. “Community outreach is my big goal for the year. It keeps me honest and focused. To do them quarterly is a goal of mine.”

Rumors Retreat Salon & Day Spa will launch a newly redesigned website at www.rumorsretreat.com by the end of February, but until then, patrons who want to learn more about what’s happening can find and like “Rumors Salon and Spa” on Facebook. Rumors is located at 26 Magothy Beach Road and is open 9:00am-9:00pm Monday through Friday and 9:00am-5:00pm Saturday.


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