Downtown Dayton salon gets new owner, as founders follow dreams to Los Angeles

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Joshua Ladner has a dream: push his career in the hair design industry as far as it can go in entertainment.

His husband Vince Ladner has a dream, too: relax and, maybe pick up painting again.

Enter Joshua's long-time client Kaley Barfknecht.

The Vandalia resident is purchasing the Oregon District couple’s business, Salon J Ladner at 45 S. St. Clair St. in downtown Dayton.

Barfknecht said big things are in store for the business including a name change, La’Ren 143 for the middle name she shares with her niece.

The number 143 is slang for “I love you.”

“I love to help people feel beautiful on the inside and outside,” Barfknecht, a health advocate and partner in a health and wellness business, said.

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

The Ladners announced in June that they would sell the salon predominately located on the lower level of the St. Clair Lofts building.

>> (June 07, 2019) Popular downtown Dayton salon now up for sale

Joshua Ladner said he was waiting for the right buyer to come along and found that right person in Barfknecht, a native to the Dayton area.

“I love what Vince and I created for the community. I think we stand for inclusion and making people feel comfortable to be who they are,” he said.

He said he wanted to ensure the spirit of the shop would continue and that J Ladner’s three employees would be left in good hands.

>> Dayton transgender woman: ‘I cannot and I will not hide in the shadows anymore’

“The team here, they are part of my soul. We didn’t want to snatch that (the shop) away from them because we are looking for a different career path,” he said.

The Ladners opened the salon in 2013.

Joshua Ladner moved to Los Angeles eight months ago to pursue his career.

He now works as an Oligo Professionals Brand ambassador and an independent educator and stylist at Larisa Love Salon.

He recently worked as a key stylist on the post-apocalyptic, tribalistic video for Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love,” designing the hairs of dancers dressed in blue and green.

“It was one of  the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever been a part of,” Ladner said of the video.

>> Downtown Dayton business owner key hairstylist in new Lady Gaga video

Vince Ladner, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant,

remained based in Dayton to manage the business.

“I am looking forward to spending more time being retired,” Vince Ladner said.

The Ladners launched the hair care line Blown Away by J Ladner in July 2018 with Jessica Lippy, Joshua Ladner's sister.

>> RELATED: Downtown Dayton salon wants you to be ‘blown away’ by its new products 

Barfknecht says she did not want to see the salon go.

The space will be remodeled and as owner, she hopes to add as many as eight additional staff members to the salon including a makeup artist and an esthetician who can provide a variety of waxing services.

“The goal is to keep the energy, but bring it out more,” she said.

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

La’ren 143 also plans to host wedding groups, yoga parties and other events, Barfknecht said, noting she wants to take advantage of the shop’s proximity to the Oregon District.

She imagines clients stopping into the shop for services before hitting the entertainment district for a night on the town.

Clients will be able to leave the cares of the world behind when they walk through the doors of La’ren 143, Barfknecht said.

“You are going to feel like a Kardashian when you walk in,” she said. “You are going to feel like the most high -maintenance person.”

Joshua Ladner plans to remain an adviser for Barfknecht and hold education programs at the shop for local stylists during his traveling hair tours.

“I am going to tell my friends to make Dayton a stop on their hair tours,” Ladner said. “This will be a hub for stylists.”

He said he is so happy to be pursuing his dreams and is glad his husband will now be there to experience it with him.

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