J. Sisters is gearing up for the spring opening of its second Manhattan location, this one downtown within the Flatiron District’s newest shopping mecca, the Limelight Marketplace.
This story first appeared in the December 11, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Taking up the former nightclub’s third floor, the 1,100-square-foot, full-service salon looks to serve as Limelight’s main beauty attraction, and also to complement its Apothecary, a 1,000-square-foot space to be located on the second floor, which will feature shops by Caswell Massey and Cosme Proud, a luxury Japanese beauty brand. Color and fragrance brands are to be in the mix, too.
J. Sisters, which stays relatively off the radar as its family-run business ethic eschews celebritizing stylists, has signed a five-year lease there. The company, operated by six sisters, closed its Miami location in May, which co-owner Jonice Padilha said was never profitable and had been supported by the 35 West 57th Street location since the Miami location’s opening on Lincoln Road eight years ago.
According to Jessica Shrier, Limelight’s marketing director, these qualities are exactly what attracted Limelight to J. Sisters.
“They have a following and a name without saturating their image,” she said. “They provide a lot of value that you don’t really see in salons anymore since many only aim to build a name for their stylists.”
J. Sisters is perhaps best known for bringing and popularizing the Brazilian bikini wax to New York in the mid-Nineties, but it has also built a loyal clientele for its “take-it-all-off” pedicures and manicures, whereby aestheticians relentlessly pluck away at even the faintest hint of a cuticle. Certain hair services, especially highlights on dark hair, is a specialty, said Shrier.
Jack Menashe, president of Limelight Marketplace, who is overseeing the $10 million renovation of the Gothic Revival-style Episcopal Church on West 20th Street and Sixth Avenue, said J. Sisters “was a good marriage” and that the space’s “cathedral ceilings, very sexy treatment rooms, exposed brick walls and windows overlooking the courtyard” will make it ideal for pampering.
Padilha added the timing of the new location, slated to open March 15, worked out well as many of her clients had repeatedly asked her about opening another location.
“[Customers] always said, ‘Why don’t you open in SoHo or in the Meatpacking District?’ We didn’t really care about that. And with the recession, this [deal] is great. We will give the [shopping center] support, we won’t have the overhead,” said Padilha of the lease arrangement, which calls for tenants to pay a base rent plus a percentage of sales. “It’s like helping each other. I think it is very wise of them to do that this way. It’s not like we are killing ourselves to do this.”