Biz Buzz, March 3, 2013

Three years ago, Kristina Haws opened a clothing boutique in Fruita. She thought it would be something simple, a way to get out of the house and keep her occupied when she wasn’t spending time with her husband and four children.

But it wasn’t her passion.

Her passion is hair — and tending to people’s personal-care needs.

So she closed Zen’s Clothing and Speciality Items last May and, on Feb. 15, opened Zen’s Salon, Spa & Straight-Edge, 309 Main St., in Grand Junction.

Zen’s offers services including from men’s and women’s haircuts, manicures and pedicures, facials, straight-edge shaves and exfoliations. Haws said she’s a certified microdermabrasion specialist.

A sampling of prices includes $18 for a men’s haircut, $25 for a straight-edge shave and $28 for a women’s haircut.

“I don’t want to kill people with prices, so I try to keep my prices low,” she said.

Haws said she wants to cater to more than just women, which is why she offers the straight-edge shaves, which is something of a dying art.

“I love doing men’s shaves and I think the old-time barbering needs to be back. I don’t use any (hair clipper) extensions,” she said. “You can come in and say ‘number 2’ (referring to the length guard on the clippers) and I don’t know what that means.”

Haws said although she’s only done a few straight-edge shaves since opening the salon, she’s cut more men’s hair than women’s thus far.

Zen’s is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week. It’s closed Mondays and Thursdays.

Sleep-N-Aire Mattress Gallery, the longest-operating mattress store in the Grand Valley, will pull up the covers and turn out the light at the end of this month.

The business that opened at 2482 Patterson Road in 1990 will be shuttered because of a decline in sales and an increase in competition.

“It’s just been slow,” Assistant Manager Zach Omar said. “Just kind of the way the economy is here, I think.”

Sleep-N-Aire used to manufacture mattresses in addition to selling them, but Omar said new laws instituted a few years ago made that cost-prohibitive for the company.

He also pointed to the opening of several other mattress stores in the valley in recent years as a reason for Sleep-N-Aire’s closure, though he noted that some of those competitors have gone out of business, too.

The shuttering of the Grand Junction store will come a little more than a month after Sleep-N-Aire’s Montrose location closed. Omar said employees moved all of the stock from the Montrose store to Grand Junction in the hopes of keeping the Grand Junction location open, but couldn’t.

The store, which has four employees, has marked down much of its merchandise and will close when the inventory is gone. Omar said he expects that will be around the end of March.

Kids Gear, a Grand Junction full-service resale store for babies and toddlers, closed last week.

Owner Angela Narayan said business for the 9-year-old store declined in 2012, attributing it largely to the creation of local Facebook pages on which mothers sold, traded or gave away children’s clothes, baby strollers and other items she sells at her store.

The store originally opened in Clifton before moving to a larger building at 534 N. First St. two years ago.

Narayan said she’s approaching retirement age and wants to spend more time with her family, but she said she’ll also look for a part-time job.

“It’s just time to call it quits,” she said. “No regrets or anything — the young ones and the technology took over.”

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