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by Jane Stringham //

Borders are charged with the potential for creativity and change.  Lunatic Fringe Salon Directors know this, live this, and dream along the current; they are truly creatives without limits.  The concept of “limitlessness,” as articulated by Meche Ortega, rang true at every level of last month’s training.


From June 10-11, Salon Directors crossed state lines to converge on Salt Lake’s downtown Alta Club; to collaborate, celebrate and, above all, to learn.  After one cocktail-laden reception and two days of training, Directors Meche Ortega, Jenner Feroah and co-founder Shawn Trujillo agree that their biggest training takeaway comes from Daniel Kaner’s keynote address: it is the recipe for a memory-grade experience.  (Kaner, co-founder of Oribe, is no stranger to the beauty industry—his wife is Sonia Kashuk of makeup and Target product line fame, and Kaner boasts stints at hair salon greats like Bumble and Bumble.)

“We as human beings have an experience every three seconds.  So, in a day, we basically have 28,800 experiences.  In a lifetime, we have about 600 million,” says Jenner.  “And most of them get forgotten about.  But a memory-grade experience is one that you never forget.”


So, what are the ingredients of a memory-grade experience?  To answer, let us walk you through a haircut at Lunatic Fringe.  You see a brightly lit space with seasonal styling inspiration on the walls; you hear your stylist’s familiar voice, you sip a cup of tea; you relax into a head massage, and, if you’re like me, you inhale the scent of  Oribe shampoo—entirely fitting, really, because Oribe designed their packaging to resemble perfume bottles.  Memory-grade experiences, then, address and stimulate all five senses.  The best memory-grade experiences also include an element of surprise—one that you can’t wait to share with your friends.  And doesn’t so much in life come down to expectations?

Daniel Kaner and Thomas Kaiser, who also spoke, brought in a full team from Oribe to demonstrate how it feels when expectations are exceeded.  Jenner, Meche and Shawn were surprised by the ambience of flowers, candles, linens and a gift of hand crème at their seats—so beautifully packaged, in fact, that Meche briefly considered wearing hers as a hair accessory!

As the trio recounted their story of Kaner’s speech, it became clear that our 2018 Salon Director Training was a memory-grade experience in and of itself.  Because we want to keep you talking about us in all the best ways, Jenner has internalized Scott Cook’s words from Kaner’s speech: “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is—it is what consumers tell each other it is.”  She dovetails from the Cook quote when she muses, “business owners no longer have the luxury of just giving great service, the service must be memory-grade.”


But Jenner is no stranger to this concept: “When choosing a location [for our annual training] we really are methodical about what kind of experience we want to create for our directors, because Lunatic Fringe really is about guest experience and stylist experience, and so that’s something Jenner really works hard at,” says Meche.  The same could be said of our gorgeous new flagship space on South Temple, to which all 25 training attendees made an impromptu exodus (on foot!) during our June 9 welcome reception. Everyone was blown away.

“It’s so special to come down along South Temple every morning and leave every night,” says Jenner.  (The American Planning Association agrees—South Temple was recently voted into the top echelon of American boulevards.)  You can visit yourself by booking an appointment online here.


We’d be remiss to sign off without listing our Salon Directors, who each presented on day 1 of the event, and attendees by name: Emiley Golie, Shalene Smith, Meche Ortega, Jake Thompson, Fumi Eguchi, Jenner Feroah, Micky Thompson, Kelly Travis, Beth Mackin, Jared Briggs, Sarah Stempniak, Kortney Mckell, Andrea Lang, Brittney Grundmeyer, Sarah Boling, Levi Hemmer, Drea Hemmer, Lisa Gear, Greg Pugh, Tom Hockensmith, Matt Fine, Shawn Trujillo, Angie Katsanevas, and Elektra Trujillo.

Their efforts trickle down to you: our readers and guests.  You’ll find these Directors anywhere from sweeping salon floors and stepping in at the lather lounge to coaching team members and celebrating the multi-generational family that is Lunatic Fringe.