Philip Johnson Repositions for the Future

Philip Johnson Salon/Spa in the Central West End has transitioned to new ownership after almost 30 years.

Phil Shipman and his business partner, Bonita Johnson opened the doors to Philip Johnson Salon on February 3, 1992. The salon experienced tremendous growth early on and they doubled the size of their space in 1996 to include spa services and become a full-service salon and spa for men and women. Another expansion happened in 2007 and since then, has grown to become one of the top salons not only in St. Louis but in the country, winning the prestigious Salon Today Top 200 Award from Salon Today Magazine six times. On the eve of their 30th anniversary in February 2022, the business is seamlessly transitioning into the hands of new ownership to continue their legacy and take the business into the future.

“What happens to my business?”

When the owner of Philip Johnson Salon/Spa, Phil Shipman, decided it was time to retire, his number one concern was “What happens to my business?” The only choice, in his mind, was to pass the business on to his current manager, Josh Beatty. Josh had previously worked for a nationally recognized salon in Dayton, Ohio, and joined the team at Philip Johnson in December 2007. Josh initially began working part-time as Guest Services Coordinator and became full-time before leaving briefly to pursue opportunities at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Once Josh came back, he became the full-time manager of the business. Since then, Josh has overseen tremendous growth of the business and helped foster an inclusive culture that other salons only dream of.

“The natural next step for me was to take over the business when Phil retired and when I brought it up, he agreed that he would prefer to hand things over to someone “in the family” to keep the tradition alive and he knew that I had good intentions and great ideas.”

Josh Beatty

Josh puts an emphasis on the client experience, which, if you look online, you will see reflected in their overwhelmingly positive reviews. “We have the most amazing, loyal clients here. Some of which, have been coming here for almost 30 years. When you see the same people coming in, again and again, it begins to feel like a family. It begins to feel like home,” says Josh. Another emphasis for Josh is employee engagement. For him, creating a work environment that is prosperous, fun, and upbeat not only makes his job easier, but that environment trickles down to the clients as well. “We have an amazing team of employees that get along with each other and truly enjoy coming into work every day. Our clients definitely feel that and it makes their experience that much more enjoyable.”

While the business officially transitioned to Josh’s ownership this past July, Phil will remain working as a stylist to his loyal clients until March 2022 and will be working with them to get them transitioned to a new stylist once he leaves. Josh says he is happy to have Phil around for a little while longer – “I’ve learned so much from him and continue to learn new things. I’m so thankful to be taking over the wonderful business he has built over the last 30 years.”

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