Strandz stylists, from left to right – Trisha, Rani, Sonya, Angela and Jessica. Not pictured Ginny.
Carries on family tradition
By Allen Payton
For those who aren’t yet clients of Strandz The Salon, inside Antioch’s Somersville Towne Center, they probably aren’t aware of the story behind it. This is how the new owner, in a quick decision, was able to just pick up and carry on where the previous owner left off, after being given just a three-week notice that they were leaving and closing shop.
“It’s a very interesting story of how we came to be,” said owner Sonya Vaid. “This used to be a Regis Salon for over 20 years. I started working there in 2003 as a stylist. Then I was promoted to manager in 2006.”
Then, just in March of this year, Regis decided to close the shop and not renew the lease.
“It was a big shock for me and the girls, there. They only gave a three week notice,” she continued. “We had to decide what we were going to do. I approached mall management, Julie (Neward) and we took the place over and changed the name and everything else stayed the same.”
That’s how Strandz was born on April 1st, after Regis left on March 31st, no fooling.
“So it was like an overnight transition, from employees to independent contractors,” Vaid shared. “I haven’t hired any new people.”
Vaid stepped up to take ownership of the business because, “someone had to take the fall,” she said with a laugh.
So, although the business and name are new, “we’ve been there for a while,” she stated.
They’re at the same place, with the same friendly people and same great service, but just a new name.
“And same clientele, which is amazing,” Vaid added.
There are a total of six stylists including Sonya, as well as Trisha, Rani, Angela, Jessica and Ginny.
They specialize in hair coloring, highlighting, Balayage, Ombre, Sombre, three-dimensional color melts, Keratin smoothing treatments, perms, facial waxing, cuts, blowouts and styles.
“We came to the realization that when change happens, you have to just roll with it. I’m just happy we’re there,” Vaid explained. “We get a lot of walk-in traffic in the mall and we want to contribute to the success of the mall. It worked out for us. We were lucky.”
This is the first business she’s owned.
“I always wanted to own a salon business, but not in this way,” the gregarious Vaid said with another laugh. “There would have been a lot of planning going into it. But, I’m happy. It was meant to be.”
Asked about how she came up with the new business name, she responded, “I had pretty much two hours to file the fictitious business name. I thought of all kinds of fancy names. But, I also have a lot of male clients, so, I wanted it to be unisex. But, I wanted the name to be short and look pretty similar to Regis which was quite elegant. So, I named it Strandz, which basically means strands of hair. But I wanted to add the “z” at the end so it could be a little more catchy. It’s simple and easy to remember.”
Vaid has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the university in New Dehli, India. She also has a diploma in fashion design.
“People think it’s really strange for me to be doing what I do,” she stated. “My mom was a hair stylist for 30 years, when she lived in England. She’s my inspiration, my mentor and my role model in her own way.”
She has no hard feelings toward the previous salon owner, for what others might see as leaving her and the rest of the stylists high and dry.
“I owe a lot of what I have, educationally and personally to Regis Corporation,” Vaid shared. “They taught me well. No hard feelings at all. I’m grateful for the opportunity. It was time for them to move on and for me to move ahead.”
While Vaid owns the business, she isn’t running it alone. She also has her best friend Tina, who has helped her with marketing and inventory.
“She’s basically the managing partner,” Vaid added. “I could not have done all of this without her. She’s amazing.”
Stop by and see Sonya and the other stylists at Strandz The Salon, today and get your hair looking good for the holidays. They’re located inside Somersville Towne Center – East County’s only enclosed mall – near the Macy’s entrance, at 2550 Somersville Road in Antioch. To set an appointment, call (925) 777-3397. You can also like them and see photos of some of their satisfied clients on their Facebook page.