Nestled on the shady side of 82nd street by Eliot Avenue in Middle Village is the barely noticeable elite boutique known as Rashachy Hair Salon. Rashachy has become the preeminent hair salon in our area due to the creativity, experience, and hard work of its four partners: Rachel, Shahina, Suada, and Shanila. These hairstyling divas thrive on the tough hair challenge and relish each opportunity to show off their expertise and talents, whether it's in the salon or the spa. Yes, whether it's a haircut, coloring, texturizing, manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, et. al., they do it all. Founded by Rachel Edery and Shahina Mamoon (the original partners) over ten years ago, they have seen their vision of a more unique hair salon and spa finally come to fruition. Rachel seems to be the spokeswoman for the salon, so I decided to interview her to get a glimpse as to why Rashachy is so popular and successful.
Rachel was born in Morocco and moved to Israel when she was six months-old. She immigrated to the United States in 1989. She currently lives in Kew Gardens Hills. She is married with four daughters and thirteen grandchildren. She became a hairdresser at the age of seventeen.
Q: What did you do before you opened Rashachy Hair Salon?
A: I always worked as a hairdresser.
Q: What does Rashachy stand for?
A: It stands for Rachel and Shahina, and we have been in business for eleven years.
Q: How did you meet your business partner, Shahina?
A: We worked together about ten years ago at a beauty salon in the City.
Q: Why did you decide to start your own business?
A: Because I wanted to have my own business and not work for others. Shahina came up with the idea where we working, I said let's go for it.
Q: What do you think makes a good hair stylist?
A: First of all, you have to love your job, love what you are doing. You can't just go to work because you have too. You have to enjoy what you do. Really love it. And you have to keep on learning, like going to hair shows, which we do three times a year. You also have to have the talent to be a good hair stylist, and have a good personality and be a good listener to be successful.
Q: What do you think defines good customer service?
A: I can tell you this, as soon as a customer walks through our doors we welcome them with a smile. Then we have a five minute consultation with them to know exactly what they want and let them know they are in good hands and assure them that we know exactly what they want done. We do this so that every customer leaves our salon satisfied and happy.
Q: What do you think you and Shahina and your other partners are doing differently from the other hair salons to make Rasachy so successful and popular?
A: Well, we do one thing here that other salons don't do. We learn and teach the same technique to every stylist so that if I am not here my customer doesn't have to wait until I am here for me to do her hair. My partner, Shahina or one of the other stylists can help her and not have to wait for me if I am on vacation or it's my day off. In other salons, the stylist has their own individual style, so the customer is not satisfied to have someone else do her hair and has to wait until their own stylist returns. In the other places I have worked, clients would get so upset if they had to use a stylist that wasn't their own. But here we do everything to make sure the client is comfortable and satisfied. We also keep individual, customized records for each customer listing the type of cut she prefers, the kind of formula, the price, everything about the customer we have to know, so that every stylists can take care of a client in case their stylist is not here when they come in. And believe it or not, we even have some clients who like to try different stylists whether their stylist is here or not.
Also, another reason that we are successful is the technique, our technique that we teach all the stylists. After we cut and style a client's hair, they can go home, wash their hair and they don't have to take twenty to forty minutes to style their hair again the way we did it in the salon. It stays the same.
Q: What is your long term goal for Rasachy?
A: To expand and open more salons. We just opened another salon on Long Island called Sachy, in Albertson on Long Island on Willis Avenue and hope to open many more. .
Q: Why did you become a hair stylist?
A: It was my dream to become a hair stylist since I was ten years-old.
Q: Who has been the major influence in early your career?
A: A former boss named Benny that I had twenty years ago. I learned a lot from him.
Q: How do you and your staff stay current with the latest trends in hair styles?
A: We have a monthly meeting with all the stylists and talk about hair cutting and the latest styles and new ideas. And we also go to different classes to learn more. There is a class once a year at the Javits Center in the city that we attend, and then one on Long Island. And some of the other classes are held here in the salon or in other local places.
Q: What is the latest trend?
A: It's not a straight cut, but a layered cut. It's a wispy, shaggy look, cut not too short. Most people don't want an even cut anymore.
Q: Do your customers tend to keep the same hair style or do you encourage them to try something new?
A: I occasionally encourage them to try a different style. My goal is to try and make the client look ten years younger each time they come here, and if a new hair style can do that, then I encourage them to try it.
Q: Why do you think your customers stay so loyal?
A: Most of my clients have stayed with me for over twenty-five years because of my haircuts and highlights, and because I have the patience, understanding and ability to do a good job.
Q: Have you ever had a celebrity as a client?
A: I have had the wives of politicians. And the wrestler, Nicole Bass.
Q: What celebrity would you love to have as a client?
A: Beyonce. and George Clooney.
Q: What do you like the most about the people in this community?
A: Middle Village is very homey and friendly. I feel like I know everybody and everybody knows me. The people are so nice. There is nothing like the people of Middle Village.
Q: What do you think your most significant contribution to this community has been?
A: Every few months we donate to the schools when they have their events, and we also donate a basket to the Juniper Park Civic Association once a year when they have their function.
I also work with wigs for women who have cancer. Sloane Kettering sends me patients who have cancer. The people love the way I treat them because I am patient with them and help them look better. I have a lot of clients like that, and not just from around here.
Q: Have you ever had an irate customer and how did you deal with him or her?
A: With patience and a smile.
Q: What other service other than hair styling is the most popular at your salon?
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
A: Playing with my grandchildren. And going to the gym.
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: A happy and passionate person.
Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?
A: Playing Dodgeball in school. My school would take me and my team to other schools to play.
Q: What book has had the greatest influence on your life?
A: All For The Boss by Yosef Herman. It's a religious book written by a Rabbi.
Q: What possession will you never throw away?
A: My books.
Q: What would we be surprised to learn about Rachel?
A: You be surprised to know I am a good painter. You'd be shocked if you saw some of my watercolor paintings. You wouldn't believe that I painted them. Unfortunately I left most of them in Israel hanging on the wall of in a friend's house. They have my name on them.
Q: What's it like being a partner with Shahina?
A: It's the best thing I did ever. She's honest and we trust each other. And she's a good hairdresser!
Thank you, Rachel.