Six months after Kappock St. accident, Riverdale salons set to merge

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On Jan. 2, an out-of-control car plunged into two stores on Kappock Street.

One of the stores was Famous Pizza Express, which finally reopened late last month. The other, however, was A Touch of Sun Hair and Spa. When owner Yetta Lazri received a call that morning about the accident, she was in shock. 

“It just can’t be,” she said about the business she ran for a decade. 

To make matters worse, Touch of Sun had just renovated, and was fully booked with appointments for those looking to freshen their style for the new year. 

As everything turned bleak, the owners of One World Unisex — located around the corner at 15B Knolls Crescent — came to the rescue. Tina Geni, who owned One World along with her husband John Geni, offered the displaced employees some salon chairs so they wouldn’t have to cancel any of the appointments. And the two haven’t separated since, making their merger official in early June. 

“We had never met before, I didn’t know who she was,” Tina said of Lazri. Once she heard the news about the car accident, however, she immediately reached out to offer her condolences as well as some help. 

The new A Touch of Sun Hair and Spa opened its doors formally at the Knolls Crescent location formerly occupied by One World.

Although the transition was largely smooth, Lazri admits there were some stressful moments. One of her employees was impatient and found the move too difficult to handle and decided to leave.

Touch of Sun will fully absorb the staff and clientele of One World in the coming months, but that wasn’t always the case. Lazri had every intention of returning to her Kappock Street location until John Geni offered to sell One World to her in May. 

That in of itself was a blessing for Lazri, who struggled to reopen her old location. She had tried everything from contacting the city’s buildings department to reaching out to local politicians and even the attorney general to confirm it was OK to start repairs and reopen the salon. 

None of them proved to be helpful, however, a turn of events which particularly irked Lazri as she felt the government disregarded her in Touch of Sun’s time of greatest need. 

After 40 years of running the salon, Tina and John had begun to think about retiring, said Elana Selsey, who works the front desk of One World. But they hadn’t found someone they were confident enough with to take their clients. That is until they discovered Lazri.

“She’s a wonderful person and she has a beautiful staff,” Tina said.

A Touch of Sun Hair and Spa is open most days from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but closes at 6 p.m., on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and 4 p.m., on Sundays. The salon also opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and is closed Mondays.

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