By Catherine Wayland
I don’t know about you, but I am very, very personal about my hair and who cuts it – more so about who colors it. In fact, I’ll admit that I still make a trip back to Massachusetts these last 11 years of living in New York City just because my genius savant stylist, Tammy, of Studio Hair Designs in Swansea, has been making me look like a natural, sunny, auburn for years (for New Yorkers vacationing in Little Compton, RI, ph: 508-379-1099, ask for Tammy, of course). But now with Jax in my life that trip is just too extravagant. Hauling a baby who hates car seats 3-plus hours for Mama’s gorgeous “do” just felt, well, selfish. So I confronted my demons and started to look around New York for a new hairdresser and colorist. And because Mamas are always trying to make sense of time, I looked for someone who would take both my son and I. This turned out to be a comic tragedy that even Shakespeare would have a giggle at. I think one salon asked, “Is child a country? I don’t care what country you are from?” This just wasn’t working.
Then all of a sudden I remembered passing this lively looking children’s hair salon on Amsterdam Avenue and found “Cozy’s Cuts for Kids” again as the only, yes I repeat only children’s hair salon advertised in the yellow pages. I called and asked if they could take my son, and accommodate me as well. They said yes! Now I just have to take a minute here. In a city like New York where I have done research for a sitcom and found all kinds of crazy, crazy accommodations for poochies including “doggy menus” at some of the most upper-class hotels in the city — is someone other than me in the tiniest bit of shock? Thank you, I heard you out there. Unbelievable. This is just one of the reasons why Cozy’s 2 stores on 448 Amsterdam Avenue and 1125 Madison Avenue are so special.
Cozy Friedman is the owner and President of “Cozy’s Cuts for Kids.” I can’t write this article without first stopping to celebrate this woman of power, beauty, intellect and kindness. Did you know Cozy started this business before she had children of her own? Before she was even married?! A friend of hers took a nephew to one of the adult salons that I was obviously on the phone with, and got asked to leave because the boy was being, “a boy.” So Cozy researched the gap in the market and then spent the next couple years going to barber school and working in toy shops and whoolaaa! “Cozy’s Cuts for Kids”, a combination children’s hair salon and toy boutique opened its first location at Madison Avenue in 1994. In 1996, came the Amsterdam location. And then, Cozy delivered her two precious angelheads, Shane in 1998 and Riley in 2000. Then came her own hypo-allergenic, earth-friendly, not-tested-on-animals haircare product line for children age 2-12, called “So Cozy” in 2002. And her next 2-year installment of ingenue in 2004 has a third location in the works for Manhattan—look out for it mamas. Brava, brava Cozy!
Remember mamas, this was Jax’s first real haircut out of the tub with me and a wild pair of scissors. And my first haircut out of Swansea, MA in years. Nerves were running high. Bases loaded, batter at home plate takes the swing….and it’s a home run! We got this wonderful hairstylist Christina, who has been in the business for many years. From Denver originally, Christina has done it all. Formal training, big-name salons—the whole enchilada. But Christina found she had a little more heart than chic la chic. So Cozy grabbed her. Cozy is very selective with her hairstylists, they have to be the best of the best. And then have all the love and patience for a child who thinks you are the doctor giving them a shot. Christina won my Jackie boy’s heart immediately. I’m not sure it was her smile or the way she blew bubbles at him, but he was won over. He sat for her like Brad Pitt on a movie set. Jax tilted his head a little bit this way and a little bit that way as if to say, “a little bit more over the ears,” and “ahh, yes that feels nice, mmhh.” Ok mamas don’t hate me, he seems to be an angel for the hairdressers and the doctors, but the car seat and stroller seatbelts are the instruments of the devil and must be fought to the death!
My turn next. Jax began to explore the store, “loogie, loogie’ing” (his first word) it up with everyone and yes, pulling toys from the bins. Oh my gosh, here we go……but no, nothing. Everyone adored him and giggled at his antics. One “Cozy’s” employee, Monica, sweetheart right from heaven, took it upon herself to chaperone my son around, laughing appropriately at all his jokes. I sat back relaxed and with the first sip of coffee all day, enjoyed my new cut. Christina was equally finessed at cutting my hair. She listened attentively to my insecurities and somehow while keeping an eye out for Jax as well, chatted me into happy surrender. She trimmed and wisp’d at my bob. Fantastic. Christina then made a special effort at my style and set. I told her it was girl’s night out and I was going out disco dancing at Culture Club and she dried and styled me into quite the swinging hair ’80s gal. I kid you not, two men danced towards me for a twirl and dip that night and it was the hair, it was the hair. But that’s another story of fashion and fun, mamas, back to “Cozy’s”.
Regardless of the very obvious slew of editorial coverage she has received, Cozy showed up around this time for a visit with us to make sure things were going alright. Besides my great impression of her entrepreneurial spirit, I was touched by her warmth and loyalty. Cozy spoke of her mother’s influence as the #2 Rolls Royce salesperson in America during her own professional heyday—gosh, it’s the millennium and I still don’t know that many women car salespersons?? And there behind her cashier counter were some handcrafted items for sale from her old employer at a children’s playspace that had gone out of business. Her way of thanking someone that helped her with her education for Cozy’s? I didn’t ask but that just seems so Cozy Friedman mamas. Yes, she’s brilliant and full of heart as well. If this company goes public, buy, buy, and buy mamas. It’s got product and marketing savvy, great heart and brilliant management, that is for sure.
Jax and I could not get enough. We lingered on each word of Cozy’s hoping to get some of whatever she’s got through osmosis. We messed up every toy aisle much to the delight of everyone. And finally, could not leave without both haircare product and some toys. That’s been the latest for Cozy since the product launch in 2002. The haircare product line is wonderful. There is tearfree shampoo, a children’s conditioner, a detangler, styling gel, and a swimmer’s shampoo. The swimmer’s shampoo is a product to be shared by both mama and child. It removes impurities from the hair and is enriched with orange extracts and aloe to prevent damage caused by frequent swimming and or exposure to chemicals. Besides “Cozy’s”, you can find these haircare products in stores like Bigelow Pharmacy, Clyde’s, Apthorp, Lester’s, and Fred Siegel in L.A. and White’s Pharmacy in East Hampton. You can also phone in orders or go online.
Well mamas, I could go on forever about “Cozy’s”. But I won’t because I want you to go see for yourselves. Make your own home movie about junior or your little princesses’ first haircut. It’s a special, special place. For more information, call 212-579-2600, toll free 1-866-COZYCARE or go online at http://www.cozyscutsforkids.com. It’s a chemical-free salon, so for me, I didn’t find a colorist solution and it really was only a timesaver solution. But a brilliantly professional, grateful timesaver solution. For Jax, well, what can I say, he’s in love. And next time mamas, I’m sending Papa bear, because my husband would just love sitting in a truck, getting bubbles blown in his face by a pretty lady while his son watches Elmo. Really, who could deny him? Thanks Cozy, for making a salon that you can send a husband to. And a child. And a mama. You done good!