Newlyweds usually look forward to a honeymoon period, when they get to enjoy some romantic bliss before life’s routines bear down on them.
Kathryn and Joseph Menzel tied the knot last October. Their honeymoon has to wait.
Since starting the Kathryn Joseph Salon on South Street earlier last year, they have devoted themselves heart and soul to the business–with as much time out as they can muster for their eight-year-old son, Anthony.
Last month they moved the salon a few doors down on South Street, closer to Elm Street. They had been neighbors of the Creamery; now they occupy a cozier space in the former home of Lee Bary Custom Clothiers.
Gone is a trendy clothing boutique that had shared space with the salon; Joseph thinks it confused salon customers. Besides, he said, “people don’t want to pay $200 for a shirt” in this economy.
But hair cannot be ignored.
“Everyone’s got to get a haircut, whether they need a haircut to get a job or to keep a job,” Joseph said.
The salon staff has been trimmed to two hairdressers. Kathryn and Joseph said things are more manageable now, and they can better concentrate on their customers, said Joseph, who learned an important lesson in year one as a small business owner:
“Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” said the 30-year-old Montville native, who has known Kathryn, 28, since childhood. They worked together in a salon before deciding to run their own place.
“All in all, we’re doing something right,” he said. “We have a ton of clients in our first year. We downsized for the sake of our clients.”
Kathryn, who made house calls to cut patrons’ hair while the salon was being moved, echoed her husband’s remarks.
“I thought having more employees would make my life easier,” she said, while snipping the long brown locks of 11-year-old Katie Marsan of Morristown. “It actually complicated things. I used to think bigger is better. Now I feel less is more. Specializing on one thing I’m good at is better. I’m more focused.”
Men’s haircuts start at $25; for women, it’s $75. The salon is open every day except Mondays.
Katie’s mom, Tracey Marsan, said her whole family comes to Kathryn & Joseph’s — and Kathryn came to their house when the salon was temporarily out of commission.
“We love Kathryn and Joseph, and the great service,” said Tracey, who was undeterred by 98-degree heat outside. “It’s easy, it’s comfortable, it’s not uptight. I don’t have to get all dressed up to get my hair cut.”
The Menzels are counting on their experience and range of coloring and styling services to differentiate themselves from lower-priced competitors such as Supercuts. They are bullish on Morristown, especially as residents move into the luxury condos at 40 Park near the Morristown Green.
“There is constant foot traffic, great people…it’s a great place to be. It’s on the up-and-up,” Joseph said.
And if the couple ever cadges a week off –they were cutting hair the day after their wedding–where will they honeymoon?
“Maybe Costa Rica,” Joseph said. He pondered for a beat, then added: “I’ll settle for Florida. We’ll just go to an airport and go somewhere.”