In 1992, Cozy Friedman, owner of Cozy's Cuts for Kids, was living in New York City and working in the fashion industry when she had what she calls her lightning-bolt moment. "A friend took her little nephew for a haircut at her fancy Madison Avenue salon," she says. "And when he got scared and started to cry, they asked her to leave. I realized then that there should be a place for kids to get their hair cut."
So Friedman, who at the time had no children of her own, quit her job, researched the industry, got her barber's license and opened Cozy's Cuts two years later. "My goal was to make Cozy's a place that children looked forward to visiting," she says. Part toy boutique, part hair salon, Cozy's Cuts has cars and big funny hands for styling chairs, and a TV and Nintendo at each station. There's even a staff member whose sole job is to entertain and put kids at ease by blowing bubbles or singing songs.
After Cozy Friedman realized there was no salon in New York just for children
Initially, Friedman's biggest challenge was finding the right employees. "I never had enough stylists to meet the demand; I was very particular in whom I hired," she says. "Kids are moving targets, so my stylists have to be experienced. The test was, if I had a child, how would I feel with this person cutting his hair?"
She opened Cozy's Cuts for Kids.
Cozy's Cuts now has three Manhattan locations. Friedman credits its success to her ability to listen and adapt the business to clients' wants and needs. She filled the toy boutique with products that make parents' lives easier—from great gifts to wide-tooth combs that make detangling a cinch. She added a manicure station for moms and developed a line of yummy-smelling haircare products called So Cozy Haircare for Children.
Friedman's concept has been so successful that the hardest part is not getting children into the chair but getting them out. "So many kids have a hard time with haircuts, but some of our little clients now beg their moms to take them for one," she says. "I'm often stopped by customers who tell me what an impact Cozy's has had on their lives, and it's wonderful to know that we have made a difference."
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