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Genesis: A New Beginning For A Sandy Hook Hair Salon



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Genesis: A New Beginning For A Sandy Hook Hair Salon

By Kaaren Valenta

A new hair studio, Genesis, has opened in Sandy Hook at 5 Riverside Road at the site of what for more than 20 years was The Natural Look.

The salon is the dream-come-true for owner Denise Vadas, a Newtown native who gave her first haircut when she was only 12 years old.

“I cut my best friend’s brother’s hair,” she said, smiling at the memory. “He’s now the fiancé of one of my current clients.”

Eleven years later Denise Parrino Vadas is still cutting hair, joined now by other stylists who are well-known to area residents. Two — Sharon LaRussell and Jackie Dobrow — worked with Gary Shelley, who owned The Natural Look.

“Gary picked up his scissors and retired,” Ms Vadas said. “One of his clients is the wife of one of my clients. When she heard he was leaving, she told her husband, and he told her to call me. What turned out couldn’t be more perfect.”

Ms Vadas had been working at the Sandy Hook Hair Company with Bonnie Fredericks, with whom she had earlier worked at the former Cuts Plus in the Sand Hill Plaza mini-mall.

“Eight years ago Bonnie had the opportunity to open her own place, and now I have that opportunity too,” she said. “It’s what we all dream about doing.”

She was joined at Genesis by Jenn Haggerty and Carolyn Stanley, both of whom had worked at the Sandy Hair Company, and by Maria Bedo, the assistant.

“We have one more station and are looking for an additional stylist who might want to join us,” Ms Vadas said.

Settling into the new location was very easy, she said, even though the week after the business changed hands she was scheduled to go on a long-planned vacation with her husband, Christopher, who is a Newtown policeman, and their children, Morgan, 10, and Bradley, who was born two weeks after his father’s brother, also named Bradley, was killed in the September 11 World Trade Center disaster almost three years ago.

“I really didn’t have to do anything here besides putting new cushions on the chairs [in the waiting area],” Ms Vadas said. “While I was away the girls even redecorated the bathroom!”

The 1,550-square-foot salon is located on the top floor of the building, above doctors’ offices. The layout of the salon works to provide areas that are secluded from each other.

“Even when five of us are working, there is still a sense of intimacy with the client,” Ms Vadas said.

The salon also has a break room, where stylists can retreat to eat and relax between clients.

Genesis is a full-service salon, providing cuts, colors, foils, and other hair services for men, women, and children. Goldwell, Redken, and Scruples products are sold in the salon, which is open Tuesday through Saturday and stays open until 9 pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Prices start at $30 for women’s wash, cut, and blow-dry and $20–24 for men’s cuts.

“I’ve only been here a month and I feel like I have been here forever,” Ms Vadas said. “Jenn and Sharon have been so welcoming, and all the clients have responded so favorably. I’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”

Best of all, Denise Vadas is doing what she loves to do.

“I have such an awesome team,” she said. “I love my job. I love coming to work every day.”

For appointments or more information, call 426-8045.

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