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Reid’s Studio 28 Gives 116 a New Sheen

 Many were saddened to hear that longtime salon, Rocco’s on Beach 116th Street abruptly closed. But it wasn’t for long. Under new management and a new name, but with much of the same great staff, the space remains a place to go for all of your hair needs. Reid’s Studio 28 is now open.

Sharon Johannesen Nicholsen, who has about 34 years of experience with hairstyling, decided to launch Reid’s Studio 28 last year, named after the street she grew up on in Breezy Point. In November, she started renting a chair in the back of Rocco’s to provide her services. What she didn’t know at the time was that opportunity would lead to an even bigger one. When the owner of Rocco’s decided to retire, Nicholsen felt the need to keep the salon going. “He decided to retire, and I jumped in at the opportunity to take over,” she said. “I felt very comfortable here. The workers here are very loyal and established and I wanted to keep that going. They’re all very professional so it gave me the confidence to run the studio. I feel God’s hands opened this door wide open for me to walk through and I give all the credit to that.”

She also believes she has a Guardian Angel watching over. Nicholsen feels the late Richie O’Connor, a longtime hairstylist at Rocco’s, would be happy to see the salon continue. “I feel like his presence here has made it all happen. He was a partner here for so long and much of the staff worked here with him for 17 years,” she said. “He was just a great guy overall. I’m not surprised at all the love this town has showed for him. When I first came here, he showed me that love he had. I feel that when the doors were opened, he was watching over this whole thing as it was progressing. I definitely feel his spirit here.”

With Reid’s Studio 28, Nicholsen hopes to keep that same great spirit of Rocco’s going, but make it even better. “The studio had been neglected, so I wanted to pick it up,” she said. “I see great potential.” In addition to keeping some of the longtime staff members such as Emilia and Ramond, she is welcoming new staff to help improve upon the experience. She has welcomed a master barber, Nathan, to provide even better services for men. “We’re going to have hot towel shaves, facials and special scissor and razor cuts for men. I want men to walk in and feel that this is the barber for them,” she said. For women, the same great services will continue from color to cuts and updos, plus she plans to add microblading services.

Reid’s 28 Studio will also have a bridal suite in the back, giving those getting ready for their big day, a space to do so. “Bridal parties can come here and have their own room to get their hair and makeup done for the wedding day in a nice, elegant private room where we’ll serve coffee, tea and breakfast as we get them ready. So many women live in apartments here and it’s hard to get ready in their apartment kitchen on their wedding day. We want to provide a beautiful place where they can feel special that day. We’re going to bend over backwards for brides,” she said. Construction on the bridal suite will take place during off-hours at the salon. That suite will also have other uses. “We’re going to have ‘girls just want to have fun’ birthday parties for ages five to 13, where they can get their makeup done, nails done, hair done and play games, have karaoke and dancing, etc.,” Nicholsen said.

Nicholsen hopes to provide services that are affordable, especially for families. “For people with children, it’s hard for them. We’re running a special where a second child gets $6 off a haircut. We want it to be affordable for families so those with multiple children will get family discounts,” she said. It’s all part of her goal to help give back to the community.

“It’s so important to me to give back. For anyone who is hosting fundraisers, I want to be able to be a part of that and offer gift certificates for cuts, color and a blowout,” she said. She also hopes to work with House on the Rock Church’s Teen Challenge, offering a free haircut to the young members who are trying to make improvements in their lives. “I would love to help them look and feel good,” she said.

As part of her community outreach, Nicholsen plans on hosting a grand opening event on Sunday, June 27 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event will include characters such as Frozen’s Anna and Elsa, Elmo, Spiderman, Venom and a DJ. “I just want to bring out the families and have a good time. We’re going to have giveaways for blowouts, haircuts, treatments and prizes like a free ‘girls just want to have fun’ birthday party for five,” she said. The event will also include a toast to Richie O’Connor, in his memory, and to Rocco for his service and retirement.

Since reopening as Reid’s Studio 28, Nicholsen says they’ve been busy. “It’s been amazing. The support from Rockaway is 100% amazing,” she said. “My goal is just for every person to feel confident and good about themselves. I want to make it affordable, I want it to have that vibe of a comfortable, fun, clean environment where people can come and leave looking and feeling good.”

The reality of owning her own studio is still setting in. “I think it’s always been a dream of mine to open my own salon. I’ve raised eight kids, five of my own and three adopted, and now they’re all grown up and this desire never left me. I relocated here from Long Island and now I’m back home with this great opportunity in front of me. I really want to thank God for everything,” she said.

Reid’s Studio 28, located at 173 Beach 116th Street, is open seven days a week. They’re open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week. Nicholsen also plans to add some late-night hours where she’ll stay open until 9 p.m. a few days during the week to accommodate those commuting home from work. To make an appointment, call 347-619-5555 and check out www.reidsstudio28.com  for more info.

By Katie McFadden


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