Nadwa Yono Named One of Crain’s Detroit Business’ Forty Under Forty

By: Leslie Green – Crain’s Detroit Business

Biggest achievement: Breaking the glass ceiling for Chaldean women who want to enter business, as well as creating a business with annual revenue of $4 million in five years.

Current goal: To build a 25,000 square-foot salon and spa with amenities that are unique to the business.

Nadwa Yono disregarded tradition to make Salone Nadwa a reality. Yono immigrated to the United States from Iraq in 1970 at the age of 7, and by the time she was a teenager, she knew she wanted a career.

But 20 years ago, the Chaldean community expected a good Chaldean girl to get married and be supported by her husband, Yono said. And, if she worked, it was for the family business. But Yono fought with her parents and five brothers and went to beauty school. Once she received her license in 1980, her family was skeptical but proud.

Yono in 1991 worked with celebrity hairdresser Trevor Sorbie and other famous stylists as an education at national shows and seminars.

But Yono wanted her own business. She and her husband, Eric Breda went to nearly every bank in metro Detroit before she was able to get a loan.

Yono then opened a 5,200 square foot salon and day spa in the Novi Town Center with 10 employees and no customers. “I struggled for the first few months, ” Yono said.

In the first year, the salon posted sales of $1 million. Yono expects 2000 revenue of at least $4 million.

The key is education, Nadwa said. She believes in continually educating her staff and her clients.

Yono, who now has two sons, is preparing to add 1,200 square feet to her salon and spa to hold events and meetings. She also said she hopes to open a 25,000 square foot salon and spa in Commerce Township on M-5 and Maple Road. The location would have a Turkish style pool, whirlpools, salon, spa, hair and nail product shops, a wedding shop and chapel, she said.

Yono is on the boards of the Salon Association, Modern Spa Association and Neill Quality College.

In addition to Salone Nadwa, Yono wants to become a public speaker to encourage more women to start their own businesses.

As seen at Forty under forty 10/02/2000