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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Debbie Link & Kaleidoscope Salon and Spa

Oct 31, 2013 01:40PM

Meet Debbie Link, owner of Kaleidoscope Salon and Spa and recipient of the “Best Boss Ever” award by her dedicated employees. A youthful petite blonde, Deb's forward moving business savvy combined with an easy going personality, love of people and understanding ways have enabled her to create a warm, tranquil environment dedicated to beautifying and pampering her clients.

The atmosphere at Kaleidoscope is family friendly comfortable, seamlessly blended with New York hip. When clients come for hair styling, hair color, organic facials, skin treatments, massages, manicure, body wraps, detoxification, body scrubs or Vichy showers, the appointments often feel more like visits with dear friends. This quality combined with excellent and knowledgeable service has inspired loyalty from clients and employees alike. The "Best Boss Ever" award was presented to her by Kaleidoscope's 16 employees, who, on average, have been with Deb for 10 years. Her employees, who genuinely like each other, socialize on a regular basis. Each has uniquely contributed to making Kaleidoscope a workplace to have fun, laugh and relax, so that, after all these years, Deb boasts, "I still love to come to work."

For many, knowing what they want to do in life starts young. Such was the case for Deb. As a child, she loved playing with and cutting her friends and brothers' hair. (When one brother allowed her to "get creative" with his locks, she knew she was hooked.) Yet she didn't immediately pursue her dream, choosing instead to take an 8-year detour on the Upper West Side of New York City to pursue a career in acting. However, her love of pampering people and cutting hair never left her. Eventually, she gave in to her strengthening desire, returning to New Jersey to enroll in a beauty and cosmetology school in Jersey City. After graduating first in her class, she set off to experience her new world.

The first job she landed was at Headline Hair Cutters, a small 800 sq. foot business on Division Street in Somerville. Within six months she bought the business. While carefully tending her expanding clientele, she outgrew the space. So she moved her clientele across the street to a new 1,000 square foot establishment, and changed the name to JoDeb Hair Artisan. Again, her ever expanding clientele demanded another move, this time to a 2,000 square foot space on Main Street that added facials and a new spa. In time, she closed the business and took a new position as manager at Legends of Basking Ridge. Once again, she bought the business, changed the name, expanded, and Kaleidoscope Salon and Spa was born.

Through all these moves, her clients have followed her. With a company client retention rate of over 95%, one wonders how that is possible. According to Deb the secret is “our constant pursuit of learning.” As Deb explains, "We participate in cutting edge educational seminars, lectures, and presentations, not as individuals but as a company. We approach the business committed to being the best we can be. In addition, our employees make a difference. I could never do this own my own. It is truly a group effort. When you love your work and the place you work, it shows. People know if they want to come back, and we pay attention to the details.

"Servicing our customer’s needs, listening, and adding new services for our clients is key. Everything we do to grow is based on our customer’s wants needs and desires," says Deb. "For example, the new organic vegan skin care line by Hylunia, a natural product we use and sell, is a result of listening. But we did not leave it there. We have a specialist on staff to educate, consult and give guidance and direction to our clients. That is what our clients told us they wanted so we implemented it. "

This responsive approach is the foundation of her business success, but its roots can be found in training from early childhood. When asked what or who has been the biggest influence in your life, she quickly responded, “my dad.” At 80 plus her father still works his graphic art and design business. "He taught all of us to work hard, be ethical, kind to people, and give back." It shows. For past 9 years, Deb and several of her stylists have provided hair styling and makeup for girls from the Matheny School to help them get ready for their prom. Kaleidoscope also participates in sponsoring breast cancer awareness, autism support groups, local schools, and raising money for a variety of worthy causes.

The future continues to look bright for Deb and the Kaleidoscope family as their new service unfolds: Wedding Parties that Pamper. The complete package includes a night at the spa reserved entirely for the bride and her party. The initial idea came from working with and offering elements of the package to some of the local hotels. Now all the final touches are in place for the pampering experience of a lifetime.  According to Deb, "Turn up the music, and take a trip through nails, hair cuts, highlights, a massage. You write the menu, and we will supply the pampering. We'll pick you up and drop you off in a limo, if you wish. We can also include a morning visit before the church for that final makeup and hair presentation. We will do it your way, and I guarantee you Kaleidoscope will be part of your memory package."

For this original "Jersey Girl," it's been an amazing journey from Bridgewater High and the drill team, to successful business entreprenure and passionate gardener. Yet, through it all Deb brings a gentle flow to her life. Whether it is cooking with herbs from the garden to entertaining friends or pampering clients, Deb is just easy to be around.  

Kaleidoscope Salon and Spa is located at  570 Allen Road in Basking Ridge. 908-907-9777. Online booking available. For more information, visit

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