The Salon And Spa Sanctuary was first conceived while in Germany in 1999. I accompanied my husband, Darrell M. Gray, there as he served a four-year tour of duty in the United States Army. At that time, I was working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies and enrolled at the University of Maryland, Overseas Campus. My first business class required a complete business plan, that detailed every aspect of a business. I always loved hair and did hair. I always wanted to own a beauty salon, where clients could come and get all their beauty desires met. Hair styles, Manicures and Pedicures, Make Up, Lashes, Facials and Skin Care and Massages by Spiritual, Intelligent, Professional, Skilled, and Beautiful Hair Designers, Estheticians, Nail Technicians and Massage Therapist. I completed my business plan, listing: the name of my salon, The Salon And Spa Sanctuary; the desired number of Professionals I wanted working in my salon; the various services that would be offered; Free Community Service Projects for Seniors, Back to Work Women and Men, Battered Women and Foster Children; and every other section of a business plan such as A Vision Statement; Marketing Plan; Competitive Analysts; Finances, etc. Needless to say, I received an A on my Business Plan and A in the Business Class. I completed my Bachelors of Science, Management Studies, with a 3.5 GPA in 2004.
As my husband served 20+ years in the Army, we traveled the world. Africa, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Czechoslovakia, London and Gibraltar. During this time, I would do military spouses hair for free. My desire to do hair was so great, I wanted to do it professionally, however we never settled long enough for me to complete the laboratory requirement of the Cosmetology Program. So I decide to continue my studies pursuing a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management with Webster University. I completed my Masters Human Resource Management, with a 3.7 GPA, in 2008.
When my husband decided to retire from the military in 2014, I finally had the opportunity to pursue my hearts desire. I could attend Cosmetology School without the concern of relocating. I enrolled at Pure Beauty Institute of Cosmetology, O’Fallon, Illinois in September 2015. Completing the course in October 2016, I took the Illinois State Board Cosmetology Examination and passed December 2016. I completed the Cosmetology Educator’s Course in May 2019, took the Illinois State Board Cosmetology Educator Examination and passed August 2019.
My first job as a Stylist was at Smart Style Hair Salon, in the O’Fallon, Illinois Walmart. After six months, I rented my first booth at Casablanca Salon Hair & Skin Care, in Fairview Heights, Illinois. In December of 2017, My husband and I opened The Salon And Spa Sanctuary in Fairview Heights, Illinois. We are a full service salon, offering hair, barber, facial, lashes, waxing, and nail services. I particularly specialize in Hair Extensions, Wigs, and Hair Systems.
My husband and I met in 1995. We were married in 1997 and have 4 children.
To God Be the Glory! I’m so excited to continue my journey in the Beauty Industry. It’s so invigorating. I love learning and improving my skills. Please stop by our salon, we would love to team with you to bring your innermost beauty to the surface with the most recent advances in the beauty industry.
Karen Hill Gray, BSM, MHRM
The Salon And Spa Sanctuary, LLC
Proprietress, Cosmetology Educator
FairView Heights, IL. 62208