Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Knick Salon and Spa: An Urban Oasis for Wellness

Sep 28, 2012 04:44PM ● By Beth Davis

Kira Kleynerman admits knowing little about the salon or beauty industry prior to opening Knick Salon and Spa, inside the Knickerbocker On The Lake Hotel, in Milwaukee, four years ago. She had spent 20 years in the fashion industry—as a buyer for a bridal boutique and a manager for retail operations—never imagining that she would one day manage a salon. After inheriting the space in the hotel, Kleynerman says she knew it would be an ideal location for an upscale salon and spa.

“At first, I had no intention of managing or operating the salon, but I discovered that I really enjoyed it,” she says. In fact, it was her research that led to the decision that the Knick Salon and Spa would only use natural products that come from sustainable sources.

“I found out that there is nothing beautiful about the products that are being marketed to women; products that are filled with harmful ingredients, plasticizers, parabens, sulfates and so much more,” explains Kleynerman. “I didn’t want to be another mainstream salon that uses harmful chemicals to achieve short-term benefits at the expense of our health, the health of our clients and the environment.”

She says her real inspiration was Horst Rechelbocker, the founder of Aveda. “He saw his dream being destroyed by corporate greed,” she notes. “He fought it by spending a decade creating Intelligent Nutrients, a USDA-certified organic line of health and beauty products. We are proud to be the only salon and spa in Milwaukee to have a complete line of Intelligent Nutrients, including aromatics, skin care, lip care, nutraceutical supplements, hair care and styling products. Best of all, most of the ingredients used in the line are grown right here in northern Wisconsin, using near zero-impact practices.”

After seeing the positive impact the products made on her life, she knew she wanted the salon to do more than just cut and color; she wanted it to contribute to the client’s journey toward overall health and wellness. With that in mind, she set out to create an environment that would embody beauty, health, pampering and relaxation, and enhance natural beauty using only natural products—or in Kleynerman’s words, “an urban oasis for clients to relax and rejuvenate mind and body, while being cared for by the most amazing staff.”Knick Spa and Salon

The space itself perfectly reflects the Old World European charm of the elegant, historical building on East Juneau Avenue, with its crystal chandeliers and beautiful archways that stylishly blend into the more contemporary, warm and welcoming vibe of a modern salon and spa.

“When clients leave the salon, the goal is for them to feel as beautiful on the inside as they look on the outside,” remarks Kleynerman. This is accomplished through a variety of comprehensive services, including haircuts and color; massages, facials and body treatments that use essential oils; professional makeup application; organic hair removal with a soy-based, non-wax system; and manicures and pedicures with SpaRituals, a vegan line of nail polishes, nail care products and chakra-balancing body products that are free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene and formaldehyde derivatives. Brands used at Knick include Bare Escentuals, Phyto, PhytoSpecific, PhytoRelaxer, Moroccan Oil, California Tan, Keratin Express, All-Nutrient hair color and Eufora hair products.

One new product line that Kleynerman is particularly excited about is Peace Spa. The natural, botanic and technologically advanced line of skincare products is not only effective, but also socially conscious. “Every facial and every product that you take home for your skincare regimen supports campaigns to fight childhood obesity and promote healthy eating,” she notes. A portion of the proceeds benefits the nonprofit sponsorKIDS Charities and

Kleynerman explains that much of her own passion comes from the people she has met along the way. Every service provider, for example, is committed to natural living and Knick Salon Spa Milwaukeeeducating clients. “They have a passion and sincere desire to live in harmony with one another and the environment,” she says. “They share what they have learned with our clients and give suggestions about small things that can be done in one’s life or household to make a difference—whether it’s incorporating an aroma for better sleep and increased focus or cutting down on waste by using quality, natural hair products.”

They certainly lead by example. In addition to using eco-sensitive cleaning agents and recycling as many materials as possible, the salon is also committed to limiting its waste by avoiding the use of disposables, preserving energy and water, eliminating paper waste and using sustainable beauty products.

“We hope customers look and feel great, but what we really want is for them to have a new perspective on healthy living,” states Kleynerman.

Knick Salon and Spa is located at 1028 E. Juneau Ave., in Milwaukee. For more information, call 414-312-7947 or visit