Some mornings Argie Reyes may wake up and feel as if she’s dreaming. The good news is – she’s not.
Now in her 26th year as a hair stylist, Reyes recently opened Argie’s Hair Salon. It is an endeavor, which she and mentor/former boss Judy Furtado describe as “meant to be.” Reyes spent the past decade of her career working in Furtado’s shop, Judy’s Hair Fashions on North First Avenue in Oakdale. In early April, Furtado closed the business and now maintains a chair two days a week in Reyes’ 145 N. Second Ave. space.
“I just honestly thought it would never happen,” Reyes said of owning her own space and being a business owner. “I think it took Judy to semi-retire to push me in that direction.”
Initially both women toyed with the idea of Reyes remaining in Judy’s prior space and giving it a face lift and some freshness. Communications with the building owner, however, prompted Reyes to look one street over and she could not be happier with the outcome of that decision.
“I want to stay here a long time,” she said, noting her mentor’s run of 42 years in her previous space as a great motivator for the business longevity.
Reyes was equally encouraged by her husband and family, to carry on the legacy of a family friendly salon as Furtado did. Currently the space is occupied by herself, Furtado and Lesley John. The team would like to add one more person to the mix.
“We’re waiting for the right one,” Reyes shared.
The team of three stated they are looking for someone who is laid back, easy going and no drama. A critical factor which is present in many salons today and the team intends to stay clear of.
As a home grown girl, past student of Fair Oaks Elementary and an Oakdale High School alum, Reyes understands the value of a family friendly shop. Her joy comes from many aspects of the business, with a fondness toward the multiple generations they have been able to serve. She herself once sat in Furtado’s chair as a shy young girl.
“I think Judy’s was more relaxed,” she said of her early impressions. “There was no drama. Everyone always helped each other out.”
Twenty-six years later and with her name now on the window of her own salon, there is no doubt that Reyes is right where she belongs.
“I enjoy being creative, meeting people and making friendships,” she said of her career as a stylist. “It almost doesn’t feel like work. We joke, tell stories and laugh. It feels so good, I almost can’t believe it.”
The significance of business ownership isn’t lost on Reyes.
“It makes me emotional,” she continued. “You just never think you can make it happen.”
“But you did. It’s real,” Furtado chimed in.
Choking back tears of joy, Reyes acknowledges the space she was able to create with the help of her family and work of her husband.
“Everything just opened up without a difficulty,” she said of acquiring the space. “That’s why I think okay, it was meant to be and I’m glad I made this decision.”
Reyes also looks forward to being a piece of the downtown community. She hosted a special Grand Opening on the evening of May 9 when the downtown Oakdale Farmer’s Market reconvened for the season.
Argie’s Hair Salon at 145 North Second Ave., Suite 4, Oakdale is open Tuesday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They specialize in all traditional hair services including cut, color, weaves and sets. For further information or to book appointments call (209) 552-6900.