Young entrepreneurs moving to bigger locations
These four Marathon businesses, owned by Marathon High School graduates, have been on the move lately, expanding to bigger and better things as their businesses take off. Prepared for the futures of their growing business, these owners are making moves — literally and figuratively.
Salon Blaco, now in Gulfside Village
Melissa Blanco, 1998 MHS Graduate
Salon Blanco owner Melissa Blanco is excited about the salon’s newest move into Gulfside Village. “I like the location, nice square footage and the parking at our new space,” she was telling one of her regular customers Wednesday morning. “There is more room for our estheticians and massage rooms.”
With the last coat of paint going on this weekend, the Exit Realty space has been transformed into a chic, full-service salon that Blanco is leasing to own. Blanco spent 10 years as a stylist before opening Salon Blanco eight years ago.
With the new space, Blanco is looking for an in-house masseuse, esthetician and make-up artist. “We finally have the space to expand,” she said.
Keys Strength and Conditioning, now on 107th Street Gulf
Owners Chris and Liz Kuck; Chris is a 2005 MHS Graduate
Within two weeks of opening Keys Strength and Conditioning in 2014, owners Chris and Liz Kuck had already outgrown the former location and were on the lookout for a warehouse to better suit the expanding number of gym members. In February, they found the new 107th Street location.
Chris, a former college football and baseball player, has a sports management and administration degree from Jacksonville University, where he met his wife Liz, an All-American college soccer player with an exercise science degree.
Both have five years of experience leading group-style workouts their clients adore. “In one 30-minute workout, you are using your entire body engaging your arms, legs and core at the same time,” Chris said. “It’s such an efficient workout, and people love it because you can get in and get out.”
Both donate time and energy to coaching around town and are planning summer classes for Marathon High School students looking to stay conditioned in the off-season. The business participates in a “Check In for Charity” fundraiser, where it donates 30-cents for every check-in on Facebook to a select organization.
Body Language Studio, now on 60th Street
Owner Rachel Glover, 2005 MHS Graduate
After opening in 2012, the time came to expand for Rachel Glover’s Body Language Studio. The dance and fitness studio is now located in its new location at the top of 60th Street in Marathon (formerly a Laundromat).
“Personally, we needed a new space to expand as a community-minded place to work out,” said Glover, who grew up cheerleading and doing gymnastics in Marathon before opening her own studio. “The new space is three times bigger and gives us the opportunity to offer a different kind of aerobics center with a small gym, new classes like Cross Fit and kickboxing and have a more professional space.”
Global Health Connection, now on 74th Street
Michelle Coldiron and Mallory Morton; Mallory is a 2004 MHS Graduate
Mom-and-daughter team, Michelle Coldiron and Mallory Morton, are moving their compression sock business after recently being awarded government contracts. The sock-selling duo was on the lookout for a more suitable space for their distribution needs.
“We have really been able to grow this business a lot,” Mallory said, after graduating from University of South Florida and then working in outside sales in Jacksonville. “My parents really wanted me to move back home, so they started looking for something that would keep me here forever. I really love the Keys and also love that I am able to do some traveling with this job.”
The rapid expansion includes 21 sales representatives located across the U.S. and the addition of a new athletic performance socks selection.