Press

'A Blessing in Disguise':
Deborah Koepper Beauty Finds a New Home

Reporter: Rachida Harper Skinner
Photographer: Damon Higgins
Palm Beach Daily News

For Deborah Koepper, the new year means new beginnings for her relocated beauty salon.

Koepper, who first set up shop in Palm Beach 30 years ago, recently moved her salon Deborah Koepper Beauty one block away from where it all began at 215 Sunset Ave.

She had to move after the Palm Beach Orthodox Synagogue Corp. in May purchased the building that had housed the salon and asked her to leave, Koepper said.

While relocating was never in the plans, she now believes the move was the best thing to have happened to her.

“I didn’t think I'd be making this move after being in my other space for 30 years, but I guess God had a different plan,” she said.

Deborah Koepper Beauty has welcomed socialites such as Lilly Pulitzer and interior decorator Ann Downey over the years, she said.

Koepper's skills as a makeup artist and stylist were recognized by first lady Nancy Reagan, with whom she worked with for four years during President Ronald Reagan’s second term in office.

Now at 265 Sunrise Ave. Suite 204, a block to the north of her old space, Koepper said her new salon space above Mildred Hoit is a significant upgrade.

“I thought I was moving a business, and when this all happened, it took us to another level with all these new opportunities,” Koepper said in reference to the 2,100 square-foot-salon, which features a balcony overlooking the west side of town, that allows more space for work, events and parties. “It’s infinite,” she said.

When the Palm Beach Synagogue took over her salon’s former building on May 1, “the hunt to find a new space” began. She said she received help from “everybody,” including The Breakers CEO Paul Leone, Mayor Danielle Moore and former Mayor Gail Coniglio, as well as the Frisbie and Pulitzer families.

When she finally found her new space by the end of September, it had been vacant for over a year. She moved in by October, and welcomed clients back by early November.

It took three weeks to convert the former office space into the “beauty house” it is today, which she said required replacing its original blue shaggy carpets with new wood floors that continue throughout the salon's reception area, shampoo, color, haircut and facial rooms, as well as removing a wall to open up the space.

“It was a community effort, and it comes from building good relationships,” said Koepper.

“My salon is all about relationships. We are all a part of each other’s lives. We’ve been a part of each other’s lives.”

For years, she has welcomed beauty experts from across the country to work alongside her. Most recently, she hosted clients from Salon AKS in New York.

This year, Koepper said, she wants to focus more on her self-named makeup line, which debuted in the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic."

“For 30 years, I’ve helped everybody else out,” Koepper said. “And now it’s time for me to step out and shine.”

Although she is not certain if the new salon space will be her forever home, Koepper said she enjoys every moment she gets to work there, make others feel beautiful and continue to build relationships.

“I love beauty. I love making people beautiful, making people happy,” she said. “What we do, it’s meant to be happy in people's lives.”