The final “snip” for one retiring North Fork hair stylist has prompted her four co-workers to open a new studio.
Mattituck salon Hair Experience will close its doors after over four decades in service, owner Janet Anderson announced last month.
As a result, the other three stylists at the salon — Sara Grohoski, Nancy Blank, and Alison Letre, along with customer service representative and secretary Genene Brasca — plan to open a new salon on Route 48 near Wendy’s Deli in Mattituck next month.
The new business, Studio 3 Salon, will hold its soft opening Friday, Aug. 30, and a grand opening on Labor Day. The name commemorates the trio’s efforts to stick together after Ms. Anderson’s retirement.
“It’s almost an extension of this business, all the clients will know where they’re going,” Ms. Anderson, 61, said. “They’ll continue on.”
The Mattituck resident started working at the salon in 1977 under the supervision of then-owner Catherine Alli. Ms. Grohoski began coloring, cutting and styling hair in the studio later that year. Both attended BOCES programs for hair, but their paths didn’t cross until they started working together.
“We’ve all worked together for a really long time,” Ms. Grohoski, 61, of Mattituck said. “Genene is more of our business person, she has a really good head on our shoulders — I think I’m more of the artistic and creative one.”
Ms. Anderson, who bought the salon in February 1985, has plans to retire and move south to Conway, S.C., with her husband, Charlie, near their five grandchildren, she said. With her lease ending in September, she felt it was an appropriate time move on. She informed her staff in January but has been planning her retirement following the sale of her Mattituck home, which has been on the market for two years.
For that reason, the news didn’t come as a surprise to the stylists, Ms. Grohoski said.
“We’re all very happy here,” she said. “But whenever there’s a beginning, there’s an end.”
Ms. Blank, 52, of Jamesport, who joined two months after Ms. Anderson purchased the business, said while they had been preparing for closure, it doesn’t make it any less difficult.
“She’d been talking about hanging up her scissors for a couple of years,” Ms. Blank said. “It’s still hard because we’re friends here — they’re like my family.”
Ms. Brasca, 58, who commutes to the salon from Massapequa twice a week, said the trio — along with Ms. Letre, 22, who has worked at the salon for five years — were eager to continue working as a team. She said that shortly after Ms. Grohoski spotted an advertisement in The Suffolk Times real estate section, they leased the space and started refurbishing.
“The most beautiful part of this, too, is that … we’ve been serving for 40 years,” she said. “We wanted to keep serving the community.”
Ms. Grohoski provided a similar sentiment: “The salon has been a staple of the community for so long.”
While the team has prepared a five-year plan for the new shop, Ms. Blank said she plans to pursue cosmetology for the foreseeable future.
“We’re all going in being realistic — because we’re not little spring chickens,” she said. “Every day here is a different day. … You get to be creative and [then] step back and have someone be really appreciative of what you did for them.”
The staff will offer light refreshments to customers Friday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on their last day in business.
Caption: Nancy Blank (from left), Genene Brasca, Alison Letre and Sara Grohoski at Hair Experience in Mattituck Friday. The group will open Studio 3 Salon at another Mattituck location at the end of August. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)