As an 18 year beauty industry veteran, I have worked as an educator for a hair color manufacturer and owned my salon for 10 years this November. Upon opening Aqua Salon in 2006, I received a Salon of Distinction award for my design and buildout from Salon Today magazine and was named Intuit’s Love a Local Business Grand Prize winner in 2012. As a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses alumni since 2014, I recently shared in winning “Cohort of the Year” with my fellow Cohort 9. Most recently I co-founded Everyday Edgebrook and have served as past President.
My husband and I bought a home here in Edgebrook 12 years ago. I was working as a hairstylist in the north shore area and saw an opportunity to serve a demographic in the area that was not currently being marketed to.
I enjoy the familiarity. Maybe it’s because as a business owner I’m submerged in the community, but it feels like home when you are always running into friends and neighbors. I love that the people that care about Edgebrook REALLY CARE about Edgebrook. I greatly respect and admire the intense work and energy that a handful of the community continually put into our local environment and organizations.
It will be a long and difficult road, but Edgebrook needs major large scale improvements to encourage minimally our own neighborhood community to regularly and safely patronize our business district and at best then market ourselves to appeal to a broader outside audience. We need a solution to our traffic issues which constantly put our patrons’ safety at risk. We need a solution to our parking challenges. Yes, this is Chicago and you need to pay to park, but we border suburbs that offer free parking as far as the eye can see…how do our small local merchants compete with this? Unfortunately this is much larger than what any of our single organizations could hope to achieve for our local businesses. And the desire needs to be there. We currently don’t have enough interested residents and/or business owners to see a project like this through.
We need real development here. Not a proposed building here and there that everyone fights about. Edgebrook needs a real plan.
I’ve already given much of my time and energy through the founding and creation of Everyday Edgebrook on a broad and abstract scale. I would now like to be able to intensely focus on one specific piece such as the Main Street America project.
I think this would help us attain the resources we need to better market our business district and to create an engaging and unique (full of character!) small town shopping and dining experience for our community. We have so much potential and it’s sad and frustrating when people just shrug their shoulders and only offer up reasons why Edgebrook will never improve.
Photography by Andre at www.thekidographer.com