Midwest Academy

Class Schedule at Jon Charles Academy, 1221 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Jon Charles

Award-winning Colorist, Entrepreneur, Trend-Setting Personal Care Leader

You can probably count the number of hair salon owners in Minnesota who have a Life Coach, Best Buy affiliation and a flair for colorful living on a couple fingers. But for Jon Charles, majority owner of the new Jon Charles Salon in Uptown Row in South Minneapolis, having all three and more makes him one of the Twin Cities’ leading salon figures. Outspoken, witty and wildly creative, Charles has leveraged more than 20 years of experience in the personal care industry with his new salon. It features everything you need in a “Pure Salon” experience, from hair styling and coloring, pedicures with renown nail technician, Kimberly McCabe, to facials, eyelash extensions, Japanese hair straightening, waxing and European blow-dry techniques, plus distinctive but limited brands such as Bumble and Bumble and Kerastase.

“The Jon Charles Salon is the culmination of everything I know about running a salon,” says Charles. “We have the ‘Pure Salon’ experience here, meaning we have everything from the best-educated and customer-oriented technicians and stylists in-house to the most effective business operations in place to track our customers needs and the salon’s expenses and sales. Plus our big 2,500 sq. ft. space with its natural light and expansive floor makes it an inviting and cool environment to get your hair cut, your nails done, or to have waxing services or a pedicure. It’s a complete enterprise that produces some of the finest styled hair and related services anywhere in this region: The Pure Salon experience you get at The Jon Charles Salon is what you’d find in Milan or Miami or New York.”

Charles earned this career milestone with his self-named salon after an impressive decade or more of building salon brands in town while also becoming a distinguished Colorist. When Best Buy embarked in 2004 on its E-Q Life stores – merging discreet technology products with health and personal care services – it picked Charles to design, implement and run what turned out to be E-Q’s most successful part of the operation, the salon piece.

From Building Urban Retreat to Offering Uptown Brazilians

Earlier in his career, while at Rocco Altobelli Salon in the ‘80s, Charles became its Director of Consumer Image and worked closely with well-known colorist Richard Hudavani. Besides being a talented colorist himself whose work has been featured in Allure and other national magazines, Charles is an excellent educator and communicator. He won the Rocco Altobelli Award for Best Hands-On Education and served as an Artist Representative at the International Hair Color Exchange for four years. He’s also done numerous Beauty Shows throughout the country.

During the mid-‘90s, he consistently played a major role in Innovative Styling Options (ISO Perm Systems) by producing an instructional video and photo shoot for Modern Salon, launching the ISO product at the Waldorf Astoria and speaking for ISO to trend-setting magazines like Vogue, Town and Country, Harper’s Bazaar, American Salon, Woman’s Day, Health and others.

Charles’ landmark work with Urban Retreat in the early 2000s built this particular salon into a major brand. While at Urban Retreat, he also helped design the old-fashioned barbershop business, Schmidty’s, before moving on to join Best Buy’s E-Q Life. Charles continues to work in the distinctive brush strokes that have driven his career and his artistry, whether literally designing, constructing, furnishing and opening The Jon Charles Salon in under three weeks time in the new, pace-setting Uptown Row to inviting patrons to “Bring Home a Brazilian to Your Partner” in the large banner ads that fill the salon’s spacious windows.

As for his life coach, Dr. Nili Sachs, Ph.D., author, therapist and personal coach, Charles says she helps balance and enhance his professional life with real world experience and guides his personal life with innovative insights and genuine wisdom. “Nili works wonders with people,” Charles says. “She recharges your passion for business and living and makes you feel alive.” The student has learned well from the teacher: That’s what many of Jon Charles’ satisfied customers, staff members and friends could say about him.


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