Refinery Salon and Merchant Parlor, owned and operated by Whitney Leidner, has been in downtown O’Fallon for nearly eight years. Leidner grew up in her sister’s hair salon which led her to pursue her own career as a stylist. Leidner credits much of her success to her late father who was a hard worker and a good businessman. He supported Leidner and inspired her to take on her own business venture.
The name Refinery is meaningful to Leidner. To refine is to improve something by making small changes. Leidner believes in bringing out the best in people without reinventing them altogether, and Refinery does just that.
Before starting her own business, Leidner taught at New Image Technical Center in O’Fallon for 12 years and also worked for Matrix professional hair products where she provided education, traveled, and saw lots of other salons. Influenced by these salon visits, Leidner solidified her business plan, knowing she wanted a team environment rather than individual booths for stylists to rent.
Teamwork is a key component to Leidner’s business model. Her father’s motto “staff come first” is one she holds dear and practices daily with her team and it shows in the exceptional service they provide.
Refinery specializes in hair, but also offers waxing, brow, and lash treatments. Each of the six stylists has their own specialty, from specific styles to color techniques. Regardless of whom you see, you will always receive quality service and be treated like a friend. Learn more about each team member here!
But Refinery isn’t just a salon; it’s also a boutique! The Merchant Parlor, curated and managed by Sione LaPointe, features unique jewelry, clothing, and accessories, making for a great destination for gifts and self-care goodies.
Refinery is also well known for their ornate storefront displays. These dazzling window designs are the creative work of team member Sarah Wagner and Leidner. According to Leidner, “Sara makes the visions come to life!” The window displays are always changing – Be sure to check them out the next time you walk by!
Decorating the windows is just one way the Refinery team has fun all year. Leidner confessed that of all the holidays, her favorite is Halloween. The staff dress for Halloween the whole month of October – not only a festive way to celebrate the season but also a great way to build team culture.
Although Leidner is no longer behind the chair, you can still find her in the salon wearing a different hat (and often more than one) each day as CEO, marketing expert, finance executive, trainer, active Downtown District member, and so much more. So, whether you are in need of a cut and color, want some pampering, or are searching for that special gift, you will undoubtedly find what you are looking for at Refinery and the friendly and welcoming atmosphere will keep you coming back for more.