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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 2, 2012

Opening this weekend in Hamilton Square
Snip-its caters to all kids of kids, making haircuts fun

GUILDERLAND — Denise Deitz noticed a gap in services in the town, and, being entrepreneurial, she decided to fill it.

Deitz has an 8-year-old son with special needs, and she said that, in the past, getting his hair cut was a traumatic experience for the whole family.

“It would sometimes take two or three of us to hold him down, and the process could take over an hour,” said Deitz.

She decided to try a place in Clifton Park called Snip-its, a hair salon designed specifically for children.

“My son loved it,” she said. “He played and was active during the wait, and even though he squirmed a little bit during the haircut, it was over in 10 minutes.” She noted that the stylist who cut his hair specialized in dealing with children with special needs.

“I realized we had nothing like that place around here,” said Deitz. She began to look into opening a children’s salon of her own.

Snip-its is a franchise, with over 60 locations in the United States, and Deitz’s shop, in Hamilton Square, near the intersection of routes 20 and 155, will be the fifth one in New York.

Deitz and her husband owned a company called Morgan Home Builders while they both worked for the Albany City School District. When the economy went faltered, they got out of the building business and continued to work for the school district.

“I’m still working for the district and I will continue to do so for the next few years, but I have this entrepreneurial thing in me and wanted to do something, so Snip-its was it,” said Deitz.

The salon will have a soft opening on Friday, Feb. 3, and a grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Detiz’s 22-year-old daughter, who is currently attending cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell, will be the salon’s manager. Deitz, her daughter, and an employee from Snip-its corporate office were able to interview and pick stylists they all felt would be the best fit for the salon.

“The number-one thing is they have to love working with kids — and not everyone does,” said Deitz. Each of the stylists will be trained and certified to handle children with autism, she said. In addition, Snip-its will offer a haircutting guide for parents of children with autism and other special needs that will help prepare kids for the salon experience.

“A little bit of special training is required to work with children, because they are moving targets, and learning to deal with that is important,” Deitz said.

She described the salon’s atmosphere as fun, bright, and animated. While waiting for a haircut, children will be able to watch television, and there is also a special television monitor on which the children will be able to see themselves. The shop will also play music and offer arts and crafts.

When children get to a haircutting station, they will have the option to play video games, blow bubbles, listen to music, or read books, to keep them distracted.

Saturday’s grand opening, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature music from a DJ, face-painting, a balloon artist, and arts and crafts. Fifteen-percent of the proceeds from the grand-opening weekend, from Friday through Sunday, will go to the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center, which has provided support for Deitz and her son.

“I love kids and I just want to give them a great experience,” said Deitz. “Pampering them just seems like so much fun.”

Along with haircuts, Snip-its will offer spa services, such as a mini facials, manicures, and pedicures; birthday parties; natural hair-care products; accessories; and specialty toys.

“I love kids and I just want to give them a great experience,” said Deitz. “Pampering them just seems like so much fun.”

— By Anne Hayden

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