It started as the very first kids-only hair salon in NYC. Today Cozy’s Cuts for Kids is a local institution that kids and parents love. Walk-ins are accommodated as promptly as possible, appointments are recommended but not required, and each child receives a balloon, lollipop, and free toy with every haircut. The thanks for all this awesome goes in no small part to Cozy herself, who truly understands how to create a fun-filled hair-cutting experience for kids. Cozy’s Cuts for Kids was your recent Totally Awesome pick for best mom-run business and Cozy recently took the time to chat with us about her win, the inspiration behind Cozy’s, and more. Read on:
Red Tricycle: Congratulations on being voted “Most Awesome” by your community! What do you think your customers value most about your business?
Cozy Friedman: Our clients value our experience, knowledge and true love of what we do. We have always strived to create an atmosphere that is welcoming, safe, fun and helpful to both parents and kids, so winning this award meant a lot to us all. Cozy’s will be celebrating our 20 year anniversary this year, and I’m so proud to say that a great majority of our team have been together since the beginning or not long after. To me, that just speaks for itself!
RT: What inspired you to start your business?
CF: A friend told me the story of her nephew’s haircut in her adult salon. She was excited to have a fun day with him and decided a haircut would be a fun activity. When the little boy started to cry, the salon owner asked them to leave, so as not to disturb the other clients. I asked her why she didn’t take him to a place for kids and she said that she didn’t know of one. That was my “aha” moment! I thought to myself, what if there was a place that was not only willing to cut kid’s hair, but also a place that was so fun and cool that kids actually wanted to go to and looked forward to going? That’s why I decided that the salons should be half salon/ half toy store. After all, what child doesn’t like going to a toy store?
RT: Any advice for new business owners just getting started?
CF: Do your homework! I spent two years doing my research. I went to barber school, worked in toy stores, indoor playgrounds, a kid’s clothing store; I took a bookkeeping course, wrote a business plan, etc. That knowledge was key in creating a successful business.
RT: Can you give us one tip for balancing entrepreneurship with parenthood?
CF: That’s always the big question. I’d say that I don’t look at my business and my family as two totally separate things. My family is a part of my business and my business is part of my family. I always talk with them about work and hope that my kids will learn a lot. They have grown up in my shops. Everyone in my family has worked in my shops at one point in time.
RT: What is your proudest moment as a business owner or parent?
CF: Surprisingly, it’s the littlest moments that standout in my mind. I’ll see my son hold a door for someone, say a kind word to somebody, score a goal, hit a home run or some other little moment that warms my heart.
In business, it’s the same thing. Sometimes people come up to me on the street and relay a hair cutting experience at Cozy’s that meant a lot to them and it makes me so proud. It means so much to me that we have become a rite of passage for NYC kids!