ceo | president
ceo, owner, president
It was 1988.
The heart of Midtown, Kansas City.
A four-chair salon called bijin.
Three decades, hundreds of employees and thousands of clients later, bijin has grown from a locally loved salon to an internationally acclaimed brand.
And how? Connie, that’s how.
As Founder (along with Mary Jane Van de Castle), Owner, CEO (& Chief Cheerleader), Connie brings a unique brand of passion and wow! to the industry. Hailing from Midwestern, small town roots, she grew up with a competitive spirit, eye for fashion and passion for learning. Both her mother and father were teachers, instilling the importance of education—which is foundational to her business. “Giving my staff opportunities to learn and grow is paramount,” says Connie. “The only way to evolve on both an individual level and team level is to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.”
Connie believes that “we are the sum of all those with whom we surround ourselves.” She takes great care in hiring the right talent and personalities because “that’s what makes the unique texture of our company.”
Connie’s philosophy of investing in her staff while having a little (okay, LOTS of) fun, has added an upbeat, energetic spirit to her brand. If you snuck into one of her famous all-employee staff meetings, you might even catch her motivating her people with some cheers, kicks and pom-pom waving—“it can get loud and it’s always fun,” she laughs! With over 35 years of experience, she continues to collaborate with top-industry professionals and attends national and international events. Her business has been recognized multiple times—on a local, national and international stage—which makes her very proud.
Fun fact: “My happy place is in our pop-up camper with Greg (hubby), Daisy and Dolly (dog and cat). Campfire going, phone not ringing and—don’t tell—no make-up or hair dryer in sight!”