Over a century of dedication to the beauty industry has led to remarkable industry contributions. In celebration of our 100th Anniversary, we launched the Takara Turns 100 contest to commemorate the incredible relationships our customers have formed with our products. Helping fulfill the dreams and desires of many salon and barbershop owners is a core part of our purpose and we hope sharing these stories will serve as a source of inspiration for others.

To enter our Takara Turns 100 competition, we asked our participants to share inspiration, aspirations, challenges, and achievements. Every story is valued, whether the participant was a flourishing entrepreneur with humble beginnings, an ambitious self-starter with dreams of starting a shop, or part of a long-standing legacy of hair professionals that spans across generations. While many remarkable and passionate beauty and barber professionals entered our contest, we connected with two individual stories with the incredible ability to influence, teach, and inspire others.

Click the videos below to see Kacie’s and Calen’s reactions and to hear more about their stories.

Salon & Spa Grand Prize Winner:

Kacie Nguyen, founder of Sunkissed Salon, was chosen as our winner not only for her ambition and determination to build her dream space but for her passion to use her experience and knowledge to help others grow and succeed in the beauty industry.

As a young hairstylist, she worked in rented spaces with equipment that didn’t measure up to her standards. Unhappy in her current situation and wanting a better ‘home’ for her growing team of stylists and clients, Kacie made the decision to create her own dream space.

At 26 years old, Kacie purchased her first commercial unit, a fresh build with nothing inside. Her priority was to invest in her business as well as her employees, and she gave everything she had to ensure her salon had top-grade equipment. She wanted only the best for her clients and her employees, whom she affectionately refers to as her ‘family’.

“When I started Sunkissed salon I wanted to make sure our salon meets every high-end expectations. So of course, I had to go with the best which is Takara Belmont. Our chairs, stations, shampoo bowls & roller balls are all Takara Belmont,” said Kacie.

Since opening her salon, 5 of the stylists under her have opened their own salons. Kacie plans to expand her teachings to all stylists in the form of educational classes, using her knowledge and experience to further the careers of others.

Barber Grand Prize Winner:

Calen Koenig, founder and owner of Electric Barbering, shared a story that is as relatable as it is unique and provides inspiration for many people in similar situations. After spending many years struggling to find his purpose in life, working a lackluster job that offered very little enjoyment, he wound up unemployed. The trajectory of his life changed when a barbershop motivated him to reevaluate his career choice. Barbering gave him a new outlook on life, inspiring him to work an industry that made a positive influence on people’s lives.

Calen enrolled in barber school, a pivotal decision that led to 7 years of hard work at multiple shops. After years of sharpening his skills, he returned to his hometown to open his own barbershop. Life came full circle when he received the keys to a space filled with many memories and life milestones, including his own high school graduation party. It was the perfect place for an emerging entrepreneur to build their business and brand.

The space was transformed into Electric Barbering—the town’s first barbershop. Calen built a unique and memorable experience with a shop design that features two vintage 225 Belmont chairs and a collection of western, cowboy, and 70’s motorcycle décor. This effort turned the place into more than a shop, it reshaped it into a destination.

Today, Calen continues to build his brand, selling merchandise and expanding his business into a mobile barber trailer ready for adventure. Calen has a vision of the person he wants to be, and nothing will stop him from achieving his goals.