Barbara Kennedy, the owner of Salon 220, 220 N. Howard Ave., could have a bitter attitude. She lost a lot of business during the Great Recession. Then she says she had to evict tenants for nonpayment, only to find they had apparently sold all of her equipment, artwork and personal possessions.
“They took everything right down to the cleaning supplies – it was crazy,” said Kennedy, who is hosting a grand-reopening and art show on Nov. 2.
Kennedy, the former owner of Kennedy Salon and Day Spa, said business was booming in the 1990s. She bought her building, two blocks north of Kennedy Boulevard on Howard Avenue, in 1997.
“The recession hit us hard but we maintained and then this happened,” she said. “I’m excited to get back in the business. You have to rely on your faith and just go for it.”
Kennedy, who moved to Tampa 30 years ago, lives in the Seminole Heights historic district. A writer, she wants to pursue her creative interests while running Salon 220.
She offers manicures, pedicures and full hair cut and color services. She plans to expand to offer facials, massage, airbrush and tanning. Back in its heyday, she said her salon offered all of those services, a cafe and more.
“It’s an amazing business being able to touch people so they leave in a better place,” she said.
She has at least six rooms available to rent to small-business owners.
“I’d like to see it turn into a community building and I want to hang artwork for local artists,” she said.
Her art fair and grand re-opening will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 2. The art fair will feature local artists selling their original work in watercolor, acrylics, miniatures, pen and ink, art cards, specialty art items, kid’s art, ceramic tiles and jewelry. There will be a free wine and cheese tasting as well as raffle tickets available for sale for a Salon 220 basket of salon services and products, Rays merchandise and Ashworth Artisan Chocolates.
Jayne Lisbeth of Seminole Heights, an artist and writer, said she plans to participate to support her friend. The event is intended to help Kennedy get back on her feet after her salon was essentially gutted and draw attention to the fact that she’s taking a second chance.
“Barbara Kennedy is one of the most astounding women I have ever met in my life,” Lisbeth said.
Lisbeth said she met Kennedy at a writing class at the Life Enrichment Center in Tampa.
“To read Barbara’s stories one constantly asks oneself, how did she get through that?” Lisbeth said. “She is a fantastic writer who takes little credit for her stories and the adversities she has conquered in her life.”
Lisbeth said Kennedy’s artist friends wanted to support her as she rises above her latest challenges.
“She volunteers to help others, is always upbeat, and kind beyond measure,” Lisbeth said.
For more information, call (813) 787-9056.