As I start up the escalator in the New World Mall, I wonder if I will be able to find the hair salon. The mall directory isn’t very specific, and I don’t have the unit number of the salon. I figure I will just wander around until I find it. The basement is purely a food court. The ground floor is more or less all super market, so my only choices are really the second and third floors. How big can New World Mall really be?
Well, I was in luck. The high contrast black and silver of the Chris Jay Hair Project Salon is just to the left at the top of the escalator. The space is bright and gleaming. As I walk up to the door, I hear the clients chatting and laughing with the stylists. They are getting their final shaping. Both stylists seem to be analyzing the shape of the hair before making sure girls get up from their chairs. The scissors make their final snips; it almost seems choreographed. The clients seem to have such an easy and warm rapport with their stylists.
The space is super chic. Gleaming floors, sleek black chairs, an altogether modern look matches the hairstyles that walk out of the salon. Chris is busy adding the finishing touches to a client’s ‘do, so I get to speak to Jay first. My first question is about why they chose Flushing. Simply put, Flushing chose them. Jay has worked in the business of hair for 16 years, and many of those years have been spent at different salons throughout Flushing. Chris, too, had been working at various salons in the area. Actually, that is how Chris met Jay, they were colleagues. Having already built a loyal client base, the two friends decided to strike out on their own at the New World Mall, which just opened at the end of May.
With over 20 years of experience between the two men, I wonder what keeps them in the business. Owning your own business, keeping the clients and the employees happy is no easy feat. For Jay, he likes the stress of it all – it keeps him young and creative. The push to be edgy and fresh is what keeps him in the business. For Chris, the personal relationships with his clients and their satisfaction keep him going.
Many of the salons in Flushing cater to more Asian styles and sensibilities, but Chris and Jay go beyond that and are able to incorporate more American styles if the shape fits. That is the most important key to longevity in the business of hair, not just creativity, but having the eye to see what works with a particular face shape and hair texture. That leap of faith that their clients take with them when they come into the shop is what the guys build on, and it is what keeps the clients coming back for more. The personalized hairstyles, the friendly stylists, and the witty banter are all reasons that you should give the Chris Jay Project Hair Studio a try next time you’re in Flushing.