By Elyse Ranart
With three daughters following in his footsteps, Ken Bern, founder of GBS, is celebrating 35 years in business as a family affair. GBS – Gable Beauty Store – has distinguished itself from many other beauty-supply shops by offering an in-store salon known for its signature DEVACURL cuts.
All seven GBS locations offer manicures and pedicures – featuring Deborah Lippmann products – and aestheticians specialize in European facials.
In conjunction with a new 3,000-square-foot GBS store opening in Fort Lauderdale, we sat down with Bern to talk about his long chain of success, which began with a small shop in Coral Gables in 1979.
Q. What is the most important thing you’ve tried to teach your girls about business?
A. To have fun. You should go to work with a smile on your face every day and enjoy what you do.
Q. Do they take your advice?
A.We take one another’s advice. My wife, daughters and I all have mutual respect for one another and a passion for what we do.
Q.What have the girls brought to the business?
A. A new perspective. Things are constantly changing as far as taste and what is popular at any given time. I even listen to my 15-year-old granddaughter’s take on what she likes and doesn’t like.
Q. What was your impetus for starting Gable Beauty Store?
A. I was originally in the distribution end of the beauty industry but was always interested in working directly with customers, so I decided to open my own retail store.
Q. How does GBS distinguish itself from other beauty retailers?
A. By listening to our clients and solving their problems. We select the best products for their needs and set up training sessions with the vendors, so that our staff understands how the products work.
Q.What can we expect from your new Fort Lauderdale store?
A. A friendly, relaxed, playful environment. The store is set up to take you through all different beauty stages and show how they relate to each other, from counters where clients can get makeovers to a beauty bar for hair where they can try out different styling products and tools on themselves. But most importantly, just like I tell my daughters, it’s a place for clients to have fun!