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Small Town Salon, Big Community Feeling

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

I recently sat down with Rhianon, owner of Jessie Tomme Salon in Mahtomedi, MN. Check out this great small business in a fantastic lakeside community where trails, schools and charm abound. Rhianon tells us a bit about what makes it so special and shares some of the love she has for this NE Metro community.

Tell me a little about yourself and how you came to own Jesse Tomme Salon?

Rhianon is a graduate of Aveda Institute who went from Aveda to Jessie Tomme salon at 18 years old. She has worked there for 14 years and has owned for salon for 3 years. Rhi has always dreamt of owning her own salon from the time she was a young girl. After finding her home at Jessie Tomme she knew she would never leave as she would rather stay and give up my dream than go anywhere else. However, about 5-6 years ago, the idea was born that one day Rhianon would purchase the salon from Jessie who remains a stylist to this day.

Rhi always admired her father who also owned his own business. He modeled putting in the hard work necessary to achieve success. The realization of the high risk leading to high reward was motivating to Rhianon and carried her to success she finds today as a young woman business owner.

Rhianon and her husband, Dan, purchased the business March 2, 2020, just 15 days before COVID-19 shut down businesses across the nation. The initial shut down while shocking was manageable and an opportunity to work through transitioning and refreshing the business. However, it soon got very real, new stipulations and restrictions, and a lot of unknown. When Rhi thinks of those months, she quickly says “we got through the hardest 2 years we will ever have to encounter in this business, now everything will be much smoother sailing.”

In addition to buying a business, Rhi also got married and became a mom during COVID. Her husband joined the business and the rest fell into place.

What makes this salon special or different from others?

Rhianon is proud of the character of business, the creaky floors, a building stand alone unique space with variety and personality in the individual stations. She loves her team of people. With a fantastic retention rate (all of her stylists have been at the salon for more than 8 years with the exception of the newest member joining in October of 2022.

She said that clients really appreciate the “extras”. They offer a beverage upon arrival, a subtle and relaxing massage with your service and a newly added snack bar that changes with the seasons. Rhi mentioned the friendly banter around the salon, the comfort of familiar faces and a true community feeling.

What do you think draws people to your salon?

Like many service industry businesses, Rhianon’s team relies on referrals as a primary source of new business and to maintain high expectations for return customer experiences. She spoke of several clients who recently referred entire circles of friends to the salon. It’s a small town and word of mouth is invaluable.

More recently, Jessie Tomme salon started posting to instagram more regularly. They feature salon experience and outcomes. She said this has led to new customers calling because they saw the hair cut or color on instagram and want to make an appointment for a similar service.

A lot of referrals in the business. How often you see someone, want to send all their people to you. Whole friend groups have come to the salon.

What’s one thing you wish people knew about Jesse Tomme?

She gushed about how much they appreciate their clients and that they notice and appreciate the loyalty that has been shown. She mentioned the clients that have gone out of their way to purchase products directly from the salon especially during the restriction of the pandemic.

What about this area? You grew up in the NE metro, what makes it such a great place to live, work and now raise a family?

“Family, definitely not the weather!”, was a quick response. She is grateful for the support system of friends and family. The Minnesota summers suck her in and keeps her here. She particularly loves the seasons that are often so drastic. She loves all the change in decor, snacks, beverage offerings and the changes in wardrobe too!

What are some of your favorite places to visit, explore, and frequent?

Rhianon had high praise for many local restaurants throughout Stillwater, White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi and said even her restaurant choices change with the seasons and she’s looking forward to patio season again soon! Brick and Bourbon and Rudy’s Rooftop may have been mentioned as well as Brick House and Wildwood Tavern. She loves to support other small local business and gave a shout out to a local coffee shop, Wild Bean and their new 18 year old owner!

I’m pretty sure you will see Rhi and I at the mentioned establishments and if you’re in the market for a new or different salon experience, I promise Jessie Tomme Salon will not disappoint.

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