Salon E-Jay celebrates more than 50 years

In the mid 1900’s, Elmer John Wickelhaus opened several of the first beauty salons in the area. In 1962 he opened the Newport location, and changed the company name to reflect his initials, calling it E-Jay’s.

“There wasn’t much in Newport as far as salons back then,” said Arlene “Ardie” Koehler Birkenhauer, who started at the Newport location in 1962. “We started with two rooms and just kept adding on.”

In 1986, when Elmer passed away, his second wife Gayla Wickelhaus, daughter Lisa Wickelhaus Richie and son Greg Wickelhaus took over the business.

A few years ago when Gayla retired and Lisa moved away, Greg, who went to beauty school right after graduating from high school, took over with his wife, Suzanne Wickelhaus. “It’s really all I know, and I guess I’m pretty good at it,” Greg said.

But the E-Jay’s family doesn’t consist of just Wickelhaus relatives, Suzanne said. “The employees at all three locations make up the real E-Jay family. “We have a lot of longevity at our salons, which is very unusual,” Suzanne said. “Some of our stylists have been with us for over 20 years.”

“I love working at E-Jay’s,” says Amy Stoltz ” We have a lot of Educational classes that keep us up to date on what’s new in the industry and I think that it so important. I also love that it is a family oriented salon.”

Salon E-Jays employees more than 100 people at  three locations in Florence, Highland Heights, and Newport and continues to be one of the leading hair salons in Northern Ky. “We will continue to educate and grow our salon and stylists,” says Greg. ” Many things have changed in the last 50 years and the key to success is to and change and grow with it.”