SOMERSET, NJ — Kacie Nguyen, founder of Sunkissed Salon in San Jose, California was named the Salon & Spa Grand Prize Winner and Calen Koenig, owner of Electric Barbering in Williams, Arizona was named the Barber Grand Prize Winner. The Takara Turns 100 Contest was announced in conjunction with the celebration of Takara Belmont’s 100th Anniversary. Participants were asked to share their dreams, experiences, and success stories for an opportunity to take home a grand prize package.

“Our team received many incredible submissions in the Takara Turns 100 Contest from a lot of amazing beauty and barber professionals around the nation,” said Kohei Fujimoto, COO at Takara Belmont USA, Inc. “It is truly an honor to celebrate our customers and their stories.”

“We couldn’t be more grateful or proud to be a part of every one of their journeys,” said Koji Orita, Executive Vice President of Takara Belmont USA, Inc. “It’s because of them and their enthusiasm for their profession, industry and for our products, that we can celebrate over 100 years of business.”

Sunkissed Salon, located in San Jose, California, values not only their client’s lush locks, but their client’s time and overall salon experience as well. Their mission is to provide the best experience they can, helping their clients achieve their beauty goals.

“When I started Sunkissed salon, I wanted to make sure our salon met every high-end expectation…so of course, I had to go with the best, which is Takara Belmont. Our chairs, stations, shampoo bowls & rollerballs are all Takara Belmont”, said Kacie Nguyen, Founder of Sunkissed Salon.

In 2016, Kacie Nguyen purchased her first commercial unit, a fresh build with nothing inside. Through hard work and dedication, the empty shell was transformed into the thriving salon that it is today.

“I’ve worked hard to be able to open my own salon. It’s basically my second home therefore I only want what’s best”, said Kacie.

Sunkissed, featuring dark hardwood floors, tall brick walls and white subway tile is a small slice of the Big Apple in sunny California. Whether a client is getting shampooed in a relaxing RS Luxis shampoo unit, taking a selfie of their new ‘do on the tan leather couch in the reception area, or helping themselves to coffee and a snack in the kitchenette, this salon makes any guest feel right at home.

Electric Barbering is a two-chair shop, established in an old courthouse building, located in a historic Arizona town with proximity to the Grand Canyon and Route 66. Their goal is to create an atmosphere where clients will enjoy the haircut experience and depart looking forward to their next appointment.

Calen Koenig, founder and owner of Electric Barbering, spent many years in the construction industry. He found his passion for barbering later in life after being laid off as a HVAC technician. While unemployed, a friend told him about a barbershop. This barbershop changed Calen’s life, inspiring him to work in an industry that made a positive influence on people’s everyday lives. After attending barber school, he spent 7 years working through different shops before returning to his hometown. Life came full circle when he was handed the keys to a space that held memories of many life milestones including his own high school graduation. Calen transformed this space into the town’s first barbershop. His ability to build a unique and memorable brand with a shop design that features two vintage 225 Belmont chairs and a collection of western cowboy and 70’s motorcycle décor, has turned Electric Barbering into more than a shop, but a destination.

“I want to live simple and provide a quality space for people and enjoy my time. The [225 Belmont] chairs get much praise because they don’t ask for attention, but they are too interesting to ignore and that’s the type of space I hope I’ve created,” said Calen.

For more information about the winners and their stories or to view images of their salons and shops, click here. The Takara Turns 100 Grand Prize Winners, Runner-ups, and Honorees will be announced today on Takara Belmont’s Instagram and Facebook pages.