Hartford Business Journal

February 1, 2016

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www.HartfordBusiness.com February 1, 2016 • Hartford Business Journal 3 FACES OF BUSINESS Austin's salon thrives on faith, style, southern cooking By Stan Simpson Special to the Hartford Business Journal W hen Francine Austin traces the path of her entrepreneurial spirit, she draws a line from Adams Street in Hartford to a 30-acre farm in Easley, S.C., which her grandparents owned. "My journey has been a learning lesson for me," said Austin, a Hartford native. In the Old South, few African Ameri- cans owned their own land or business. The independence of her grandparents was something Austin never forgot. As a child grow- ing up in the 1970s, her goal was to own a salon. An aunt was a hairstylist and Aus- tin enjoyed styling the hair of older women. She liked the way a new "do" made people feel and look. "I wanted to have a place that would repre- sent people of color, where we could feel hon- ored, where we could go and relax. I wanted a place for us to understand how important it is for us to replenish our souls." Her journey to the salon business was detoured by a stint in the corporate world, working in Cigna's group-pension division for six years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. "I was miserable and unhappy,'' Austin said of her experience. Corporate life, however, taught her about time management and the importance Continued One of Hartford's most trusted names in fitness and well-being, the Mandell JCC, is proud to partner with one of Hartford's most trusted healthcare providers, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Kristi Kearney Director Kristi has 20+ years of experience in the fitness industry, most recently having served as Executive Director of the Downtown Hartford YMCA. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Health Fitness from Central Connecticut State University, and has a Master of Science degree in Movement Sciences from Springfield College. Kristi has an extensive background in personal training and fitness instruction, and has been directing and managing Fitness Centers throughout Hartford for over 15 years. For Further Information Contact: Kristi Kearney, Director, 860-714-7132, kkearney@mandelljcc.org April Adorno Fitness Director April holds a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education with cross endorsements in Health and Dance, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University. She was a PE, health and dance teacher before shifting into a fitness career. She started with Zumba Fitness and has flourished from there, and is currently a Master Trainer for Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED and for Fierce FUNk, as well as a certified personal trainer, dance teacher and professional dancer. Industry Leaders We are proud to welcome two industry powerhouses to our team! Say Hello to Your New Favorite Fitness Center! Introducing the Mandell JCC Fitness Center at Saint Francis 95 Woodland St., 3rd Floor | Hartford, CT 06105 860-714-4414 | www.mandelljcc.org/stfrancis Everyone Welcome! OPEN HOUSE WEEK! February 8-13, 2016 Mon-Fri 6:30am-6:30pm Sat 8:30am-12:30pm Stan Simpson Francine Austin's Bloomfield-based hair salon and spa tries to differentiate itself by offering customers a home-cooked meal and wine. P H O T O | S T E V E L A S C H E V E R

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