Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

S Shopper Stories


Award-winning salon expands to second Chesapeake location

by Candance Moore

Xanadu owner Danise Keilitz and Salon Director Dani Klepper have built a dream team of stylists <BR>who now serve clients at two Chesapeake locations.

Xanadu owner Danise Keilitz and Salon Director Dani Klepper have built a dream team of stylists
who now serve clients at two Chesapeake locations.

It’s hard to find anyone in Hampton Roads who knows more about beauty than Danise Keilitz—owner of Xanadu Salon & Spa. Thanks to her love of her craft and her innovative business model, more people than ever are turning to Xanadu’s talent team of expert stylists.

“Even though we’re open seven days a week, we still couldn’t accommodate everyone at our Great Bridge location,” Danise explains. “We also had lots of new hair school graduates needing a place to start their careers on the right foot - somewhere that offered them education, support and a staff who believed in them.  So, we opened a second salon in Greenbrier’s Town Place Shopping Center at the corner of Eden Way.”

“A guest can expect the same positive West Coast vibe and welcoming hometown customer service at whichever location they choose to visit,” Danise insists. “Our salons’ supportive, upbeat culture is non-negotiable. ‘Collaboration, not competition’ is a guiding principle.”

Staying true to such principles has not only impressed Xanadu’s clients, but also resulted in a continued string of awards, including Best of Chesapeake for five years running, Salon Today 200 Honoree, and Best of Virginia.

Press Danise further for the reason behind Xanadu’s extraordinary success and growth, her answer is immediate: “It’s our team. We hire for heart, personality, integrity and work ethic; we can train for skill.”

An upbeat West Coast vibe welcomes clients at Xanadu’s Great Bridge location

An upbeat West Coast vibe welcomes clients at Xanadu’s Great Bridge location

Chief among those team members is Dani Klepper who Danise hired as Salon Director when she needed assistance at her Great Bridge location. Together, they built a team of stylists whose personalities are as strong as their skills.  Thirty-two teammates now divide their time between Xanadu’s two locations.

“We offer our stylists a special place to build their careers, with career paths and benefits - such as medical coverage, 401Ks, vacation leave and education,” Danise says. “We offer our guests a trusted team who will listen to them and respect them.”

“This is not the kind of salon where stylists work for six months before burning out or moving on,” Dani adds. “When a guest finds a good match with a stylist, they can expect that same experience at Xanadu for the long term.”

One day, a guest arrived to check out Xanadu. She’d recently relocated from the West Coast and was looking for a salon that met California expectations. The team at Xanadu impressed her so much that she asked about joining them.

She turned out to be an aesthetician and makeup artist who had worked with such legendary brands as Laura Mercier, MAC and Neiman Marcus. Kat - as clients call her - now runs a skin care room in the Great Bridge location. Guests often leave with a glowing expression, telling Danise how glad they are to have found Xanadu and that their experience there was the best they’ve ever had

We hire for heart, personality,
integrity and work ethic;
we can train for skill.”

          —Danise Keilitz

Xanadu’s commitment to ongoing education and training also sets it apart from other salons. When the stylists aren’t working, they’re attending ongoing education classes, or hosting on-site workshops for their peers. Recently the team traveled to California to attend Advanced Color classes.

“We want to start an advanced academy for salon owners and managers, as well as a grad school for new hair school graduates,” Danise reveals. “We want to teach them foundational haircutting skills, color theory and customer service, so they have the confidence to start their careers in whatever salons they choose. We also want to start a Salon Owners Support group that will meet quarterly. Everything we’re doing is to elevate our profession.”

Xanadu’s Greenbrier location

Xanadu’s Greenbrier location

Clients are now reaping the rewards of Xanadu’s commitment to ongoing education: if they want a particular style or technique, the odds are that a stylist at Xanadu has mastered it.  Stylists work in a collaborative environment, advocating for the teammate who is best suited for the client in any given situation. Higher-level stylists reciprocate by mentoring others.

Xanadu’s policy of giving clients the best possible experience manifests itself in some unexpected ways. Dani recalls a recent interaction with a guest who requested a certain technique that is considered damaging. The Xanadu team informed the guest that the technique would compromise the integrity of her hair. She received a tasteful, no-fuss haircut, and was asked to return once she’d thought more about the potential damage. The guest later called to thank them for not letting her make a mistake.

“Fun styles and vivid colors look amazing—even more so when a person’s hair is healthy enough to maintain it,” Danise explains. “We want to bring our clients’ hair to point where they can confidently wear any look.”

For new guests at Xanadu, that process begins with a free consultation. Expert stylists assess hair, head shape, lifestyle, and budget to help each guest cultivate the most beautiful look best suited for them. The discussion includes giving tips on morning routines to keep the style in shape, establishing a timetable for requirement maintenance, and recommending products to keep the hair strong.

Guests with thinning hair are given information on products that can help with hair loss. If thinning is due to a medical issue, Xanadu can educate guests regarding the questions they can ask their doctors in order to start a more productive dialogue.

When a guest is ready to color, Xanadu’s color bar mixes pigments to create an original shade that perfectly matches that guest’s complexion. Proprietary software captures detailed information on how to precisely duplicate that shade in the future.

Formal styles for proms or weddings are done by high-level stylists. A makeup station in each location helps clients prepare for any occasion in a way that promotes skin health.

“We want to bring more of the West Coast feel to Chesapeake - which is why we’re so excited to now be in two locations,” Danise says. “Whether it’s a guest coming to us or another salon looking to grow, we’re available to help them. It’s the right thing to do.”

Xanadu Hair Salon and Spa

500 S. Battlefield Blvd
Chesapeake, VA 23322


741 Eden Way
Chesapeake, VA 23320