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Monday, June 17, 2024

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Nine Salon & Spa Celebrates 25 Years in Rio Grande

Kath Reidenbach, founder and owner of Nine Salon & Spa

By Collin Hall

RIO GRANDE – Nine Salon & Spa has forged a loyal community in the 25 years it has called Rio Grande home. Kathlyn Reidenbach, owner and founder of the salon, has worked in the industry for so long that she has cut some of her clients’ hair from the time they were born to the time they were married.

“I cut their hair before their first holy communion, before their 8th-grade graduation, their prom, then their weddings. Now, I’m giving first haircuts to their children,” she said to the Herald on a mid-summer afternoon when she could step away from her clients for a brief chat.

A slice of the salon’s interior, which was completely remodeled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A lot has changed for Nine Salon & Spa in its 25 years of business. Kathlyn remembered the many hair fads that came, went, and then came back again. “We were here when the Jennifer Anniston haircut first became popular,” she said. She rattled off so many hair trends that it was hard to keep track.

“When we first opened, we were in the middle of a shag moment. The shag has come back three times since. We remember mullets, and chunky highlights when Kelly Clarkson was first on American Idol that are coming back in style now,” she said.

Nine Salon began life in a small strip mall in North Cape May. Six years into operations, Kathlyn saved up enough money to put a down payment on a location in Rio Grande, just a short drive from the movie theater.

Carrie Dickinson, the salon’s manager, laughed and said that “in the beginning, we had red carpets and wicker furniture in here.”

Evonne Ewing, who owner Kathlyn Reidenbach says is the salon’s “Sunshine Ambassador,” helped clean Salon Nine for many years. “She’s a part of the family,” Kathlyn said.

Carrie has worked at the salon for nearly two decades; she and Kathlyn have wild memories from their time at Nine Salon & Spa. Their five-person staff, including stylists Jennifer Watson and Nikki Gemellaro, assistant Kindness Copson, and weekly helper Evonne Ewing, brings over 100 years’ worth of cosmetology experience to Nine Salon & Spa.

“When you’re open for this long, you remember a lot of crazy things,” Kathlyn said. She remembered a “naked cowboy” who stormed through the front door of the salon. “He was wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, leather boots, a thong, and a lasso,” she said.

The cowboy danced and galloped for the staff and their clients, but not before handing Kathlyn a cold bottle of champagne.

“One of your best clients sent me,” the cowboy said before disappearing as abruptly as he came. “But we never found out who sent him,” Carrie said, chuckling at the memory.

Kathlyn remembered the early days of COVID-19 when the salon was forced to close for several months.

“We didn’t want to let that defeat us,” Kathlyn said. “So, we took that time to completely remodel the salon’s interior. A time capsule was installed in the sheet rock ceiling during the remodel,” she said.

Carrie and Kathlyn both independently shared that a friendly ghost lives in the salon, which was once a residential home. “He just stands in the doorway – we have both seen him,” Kathlyn said. “He wears a blazer and smokes a pipe.”

For 18 years, the salon staff volunteered at Cape Regional Medical Center to help cancer patients learn self-care as they went through the most challenging days of their lives.

“We held patients’ hands and taught them how to take care of themselves during their treatment – we taught them how to deal with the physical changes that come with chemotherapy, how to care of their skin, hair, and nails,” Kathlyn said.

Nine Salon & Spa is also active in the wider cosmetology community. They are a member of the Professional Beauty Association and are a member of “Cut it Out,” an alliance of salons that are trained to spot signs of domestic abuse in their clients. Kathlyn also sits on the advisory council board for cosmetology at Cape Tech in Court House.

A lot has changed in 25 years, but much has stayed the same. Kathlyn, Carrie, and their senior stylist Jennifer have weathered the years to bring top-notch cosmetology services to Cape May County. Here’s to 25 more.

Join Salon 9 for their 25th anniversary open house on August 11 at 11 a.m. – the event features raffles, giveaways, and other celebratory touches. Nine Salon offers all aspects of hair care, intimate body waxings, massages, facials, eyelash extensions, manicures and pedicures, and lash lifts and tints.

Content Marketing Coordinator / Reporter

Collin Hall grew up in Cape May County and works as a content manager for Do The Shore, as well as a reporter. He currently lives in Villas.

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