behind the scenes
alisonchief operating officer joined bijin in 2010 Alison has held many positions with increasing responsibility since she joined bijin in 2010—from Service Coordinator to HR Administrator, Guest Services Team Lead to Operations Manager. She now serves as Chief Operating Officer. Alison has traveled and participated in workshops such as Bumble & Bumble’s Style Your Career and Millennium Business Conference. Prior to bijin, she worked in a restaurant of a retirement home and as a commercial sales coordinator for a flooring distributor. Alison loves working with people and doing whatever it takes to get the best result. Fun fact: “When I was a child, I would talk to any stranger that had kids!!!”
joined bijin in 2007
Denise has a 20-year career in the beauty industry—first working as a nail technician, then moving into salon management. Denise has been an Inventory Specialist for a multi-location salon in Portland and has led/regrouped salons in the Kansas City area to make them more profitable. Denise has been the buyer for bijin since 2007 and loves traveling to New York City and Las Vegas to bring back the latest trends for bijin! “It makes me happy to wow clients and staff with new items and beauty products!” She also enjoys volunteering for Special Olympics.
Fun fact: “I had the opportunity to socialize with Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda. I gave myself a tour of his penthouse!”
rejoined bijin in 2016
Emily graduated college with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Missouri—KC. She’s a problem solver and “loves a good challenge!”
Fun fact: “I’ve dressed up as a dinosaur for the past 13 Halloween!”
retail and inventory assistant
joined bijin in 2019
Gary comes to bijin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rockhurst University with minors in Journalism/Theology and an emphasis on Psychology. He was awarded an internship as Special Assistant for Foreign Media in the Foreign Press Center, Washington, DC. As an intern, he earned special invitations to Mayoral and Presidential press conferences, linked with senators, representatives, cabinet members and policy makers. In 1998, Gary started his career at Myrs Credit Advisors, Inc.
Fun fact: “Adrian Cronauer gave me my own personal 'Good Morning Vietnam’ shout out!”
joined bijin in 1988
master of tasks
Greg received his BFA at The Rhode Island School of Design and followed with graduate studies at KU. Later, he received his MA in Art and Art History at UMKC. While at RISD, Greg worked many odd jobs in the Providence area but the most fun was performing as the lead singer of the bluegrass band, “Blind Gary and the Foggy Vision Boys!” Lifelong friends, they still get together and have jam sessions. Before helping his wife, Connie, open bijin in 1988, he worked as a professional sign maker for the Kansas City Zoo; and while in grad school, he helped open the original Oggi store in Westport.
Greg continues to have the discipline to work daily in his home studio making drawings and paintings. His shows include The Blue Gallery (Kansas City), Ten in One Gallery (Chicago, Illinois), and Venue Restaurant (Kansas City) along with regular clients who have purchased privately. When not working or creating art you can find Greg reading or napping with his dog Daisy and cat Dolly.
Fun Fact: Greg was bijin’s first receptionist in the original location on Main St. When the cash drawer was short at night he would put in his own cash to close out! Now that is dedication!
chief financial officer
joined bijin in 2002
Kelly graduated with Distinction from Iowa State University with a BS in Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Management and a minor in Environmental Studies. While at Iowa State, she served as Co-President of the Student Environmental Council. When Kelly relocated to Kansas City, she applied for a position at bijin and knew immediately she wanted to be a part of this team!
Kelly is inspired by taking classes, workshops, webinars and attending conventions because she says, “I just can’t stop learning!” Specifically, Kelly has participated in Bumble & Bumble University’s “Fierce Conversations”, Business Immersion and Voice and Vision, Strategies’ Serious Business, The Millennium Experience, the Midwest Hair Show and Kansas City’s Women’s Lyceum.
Fun fact: “I would drive the extra 20 miles to find the nearest Taco John’s!”
human resources administrator joined bijin in 2018Kelly graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Sociology and also earned a Master’s of Science in Management from Baker University. She spent almost 30 years in Human Resources with the city of Overland Park, KS. Kelly is an HR professional, and always does her best to put potential candidates at ease. “Interviewing can be very scary for some people, so I do whatever I can (without violating any laws!) to ease some of their anxiety.” Kelly is personal, organized and friendly. Fun Fact: “I lived in five different states before I turned 12.”
with bijin since 1991 (freelance) & in current role since 2020
Marn has been a client and fan of bijin since it first opened its doors back in 1988 — yes, from the very bijinning! In 1991, she took on a freelance writing position to help shape the creative voice of the brand…and hasn’t stopped since!
Marn hails from Hallmark Cards, Inc., having just closed the door on a colorful career there. In her 30+ years at Hallmark, she held various positions in the Creative Community: Writer/Editor, Editorial Director, Creative Director, Innovation Leader, Writing Manager to name a few. Highlights include: shaping Shoebox Greetings, launching/creating Fresh Ink and receiving the prestigious Barbara Marshall Award— a sabbatical awarded to Hallmark Creatives to pursue a passion-led project.
At Hallmark, she had the good fortune to work alongside and lead world class creative talent in a company whose mission was rooted in connecting people and enriching lives. "That’s what makes this an easy transition to bijin — working with top notch talent in an industry that, ultimately, is about connecting with clients and making their lives better!”
Fun Fact: Marn knows how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. 826.
accounting assistant joined bijin in 2018After completing basic and advanced individual training for the Army, Melissa brings several years of accounting expertise to bijin. She finds joy in the logic of numbers and accounts. “I have always embraced the problem solving skills it takes to work in the accounting field.” Melissa is a mother of four, and knows how to keep it all balanced. Fun Fact: "I am a huge Michael Jackson fan. I have raised my children on his music, as was I!”