With the creation of Aura Salon and Style Lounge on Cutter Mill Road two years ago, Scott Zimmerman said he and his partner Richard Zimmerman knew they needed an original concept to set their business apart from the others in the Village of Great Neck Plaza.
“We opened our salon as ‘Aura Salon and Style Lounge,’” Scott Zimmerman said. “We didn’t want to open up a salon and spa because we felt a style lounge was a little more edgy and creative.”
Last month, Aura Salon and Style Lounge expanded upon its ‘style lounge’ concept with the opening of Fixx, a clothing boutique in a newly renovated wing of its 25 Cutter Mill Road storefront.
Fixx is owned by Great Neck resident Miriam Shiff and Diana Mollica of New Hyde Park.
“We basically find all the latest trends and we try to keep it at the right price point for the customers,” Mollica said. “So, while they’re waiting to get their nails done or their hair finished, they come, they shop.”
And that, Zimmerman said, could lead to even more success for his ever-changing business.
Along with its full service hair and nail services, Aura Salon and Style Lounge also offers customers the chance to peruse its exclusive collection of Ellen Lux jewelry.
By adding Fixx into the fold, Aura Salon and Style Lounge has now made good on its original “style-lounge” concept, Zimmerman said.
“We decided to take those three elements, plus we created a color-processing area in the new square footage, and we decided to really deem that the style lounge where women can just hang out all day,” he said. “Whether you’re buying clothing, jewelry, getting your make up done, it’s all under one roof.”
Although Zimmerman said he had always intended to include a clothing boutique in his salon, the opportunity to complete the “style-lounge” concept came about in January.
Zimmerman, a member of the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce board of directors, said that was when he signed a lease of expansion to take over the space at 25-13 Cutter Mill Road, next to Aura Salon and Style Lounge.
“When the opportunity became available it was just easier to cut down a couple walls,” he said.
Due to some fortuitous timing, the partnership with Shiff and Mollica was then formed, Zimmerman said.
“It came available that Miriam and Diana wanted to do their own thing,” he said. “It coincided with us expanding the salon, so we brought them on board with us. We were able to give them at least a frontage view.”
So far, the partnership with Fixx has been beneficial to Aura Salon and Style Lounge, Zimmerman said.
“When we originally opened up we never thought in our wildest dreams that we would have the opportunity to come along to expand so soon before our two-year mark,” he said. “But we felt if we had the right partners on board with us to be vendors in our business it was only going to grow the business and help expand it, which it has.”
“Miriam was already a client of ours, so when we were in talks negotiating our lease, we had mentioned that we wanted to open up a clothing store,” he said. “She decided to jump on the opportunity and grab Diana to do it with her. That’s how it came about.”
For Shiff, the decision to open Fixx has turned out to be the right one.
“We both love to make people feel good,” Shiff said. “This is the ultimate one-stop shop to do that. People come in here to enhance the way they look.”
Mollica said Fixx offers clothing choices from several designers, which are constantly changing.
“We basically hand pick each item that’s in here,” she said. “Most of the designers are from L.A. We are special, unique, different from all the other stores on Middle Neck Road.”
Despite opening in April, Fixx held its grand opening celebration recently.
“We want to have the ultimate customer service,” Shiff said. “That’s what we’re about. We’re about pleasing people.”
“Every woman, especially around here, has an issue with their body,” she added. “Let’s find something that works for you and make you feel good about it.”
Now nearly two months into her tenure as an entrepreneur, Mollica said she has enjoyed working with Shiff and Aura Salon and Style Lounge.
“We’re just having fun,” Mollica said. “It’s a great company. Scott and Richie are great. Ellen’s great with the jewelry. It’s fun. I think we jive well. We’re all kind of easy personalities and we all kind of help each other out.”
Fixx’s prices range anywhere from $25 to $220, with clothing from a wide assortment of designers, Mollica said.
“We kind of like staying small,” she said. “We are both really very family oriented. I have two young girls and Miriam also has two young kids. We kind of like it as it is. We’re able to change our inventory quickly because of the volume of sales that we’re having.”
Zimmerman said he is equally pleased with the effect Fixx has already had on his business.
“It’s been a great match up, a great pair,” he said. “They have great styles and great clothing for women, moderately priced. Especially with the economy the way it is, they opened up at the right price point, I believe, for women.”
But for Fixx, the best may be yet to come, Zimmerman said.
“They’ve been very successful since they’ve opened,” he said. “I know they have a great couple of things in store for their customers.”
Over the summer, Zimmerman said Aura Salon and Style Lounge will build upon its “one-stop shop” concept with the installation of a make-up department. He said the new addition to the salon is scheduled to be fully operational by the fall.
“I do believe in the town and I feel like investing in the community really is helping grow my business, which is one of the reasons why we brought on Fixx to be part of us to actually give another business the chance to start up in the area,” Zimmerman said.