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After almost 28 years in business, Classic Image Salon and Day Spa in Smallwood Village has changed ownership. On June 1, the torch was passed as Mary Lou Rutherford handed over the keys to Jennifer Shifflett, a longtime employee, who, with her husband Steve, became the new owner of Classic Image.

“It’s been a long and successful run,” Rutherford said, “and I’m looking forward to watching the business grow and prosper for many years to come.

“We’ve gone through a lot of changes,” she added.

In 1999, her husband John left his job in Washington, D.C., to work at the salon full time. They then leased additional space, undertook a large construction project and added a complete day spa to the business. Over the ensuing years, Classic Image was recognized four times as one of the 200 fastest-growing salons in the country and the Rutherfords were invited, on several occasions, to be featured speakers at the annual Salon Success Conference in New York City.

“It’s been quite an experience,” Rutherford said. “It may be cliché, but in this industry we really do touch people’s lives. I’ve met so many wonderful people over the years who came into the salon as customers or employees and have now become friends. I’m sure that when her time comes to move on, Jenn will share many of the same feelings.”

Both Rutherfords agree that they are very excited to see some new energy and fresh ideas infused into the business. “The reward will be seeing where Jenn and Steve take it from here,” they said. “We wish them the very best.”