Salon brings New York styles to Augusta

Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Owner Marquitta Graham styles Lakonya Jenkins' hair at the Spice of New York Salon and Spa on Bohler Avenue.

Walk into Spice of New York beauty and hair salon and you immediately smell a soothing aroma of fancy oils and other scents.

Owner Marquitta Graham said she named her shop Spice of New York even though it's just a few blocks from Augusta's central medical area.

"I'm originally from New York, and a friend nicknamed me Spice," said the former Brooklyn resident.

After visiting relatives in July 2001, Ms. Graham decided to make Augusta her home -- two months before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

After working at a few Augusta-area shops and taking courses at Aiken Technical College, Ms. Graham decided it was time to own her own business.

Today, Spice of New York has 11 employees, including three barbers, a nail technician, two hairstylists and a part-time massage therapist.

Jackie Stewart, a supervisor with the Richmond County Department of Family and Children Services, said she learned about Spice of New York by word of mouth.

"I have to feel good about myself, so I must look good," Ms. Stewart said after getting a hairstyle she called "very professional."

Ms. Graham said the salon caters to customers of all ages and style preferences. Its specialties include total hair and nail care, herbal detox body wraps, massage services, skin care and eyelash extensions and additions. It also provides conventional haircuts for men in a separate barbershop.

"The atmosphere is what keeps me coming back," said customer Phoebe Yarbray, an insurance claims analyst.

She said she also enjoys the easy-listening music Ms. Graham provides.

A former social worker, Ms. Graham studied business management at LaGuardia Community College in New York. She also performed with a gospel choir led by Hezekiah Walker, the pastor of Love Fellowship Tabernacle Kingdom Church in Brooklyn.

Six years since opening her shop, she said she's achieving her goals. "I have to keep it moving. I can't stop now."

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.

IN BUSINESS

WHAT: Spice of New York Salon and Spa

WHERE: 712 Bohler Ave.

OWNER: Marquitta Graham

SERVICES: Total hair and nail care, herbal detox body wrap, massage services, skin care, eyelash extensions and additions, men's haircuts

TELEPHONE: (706) 364-6413

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