First Selectman Ellen Scalettar recently visited two Woodbridge businesses, one of which is celebrating its one-year anniversary. Hairs 2 You opened the doors to its business one year ago. Scalettar also visited David Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books.
The First Selectman has been touring local businesses to create a stronger bond between Town Hall and the Town’s business community and to strengthen economic development in Woodbridge. Additionally, the Town’s Economic Development Commission has been inviting new and expanding businesses to its monthly meetings in order to learn about those businesses and why they chose Woodbridge. At each of the businesses she visits, Scalettar always asks why a business chose Woodbridge and what, if anything, the Town can do to support their business.
Stephanie Tiddei of Hairs 2 You ran the salon called Stephanie’s on Whalley Avenue in New Haven for 20 years. Deciding it was time for a change, Tiddei looked for a new location that would be convenient to her clientele. She rented a chair at a salon while looking for her own place and last year Tiddei moved to Selden Street. “Things are great,” she said.
Tiddei lives in Bethany and enjoys her shorter commute, she said. Many long-time customers followed her to the new shop and she’s gained new local customers also.
In addition to the traditional salon services of haircuts, dyes and styles, Tiddei also sells home-made glycerine soaps and body scrubs. Tiddei says they are popular gift items.
At the Selden Street plaza Tiddei says she gets some walk-in traffic from customers visiting Today’s Clothing, Amity Bike shop, Linda’s Nails, Amity Bowl, Musical Folk, Advent Printing, Dine-1-1 and restaurants Thai Stories and Woodbridge Social. Tiddei is one of three hairdressers at the salon; the other two are Debbe Champion, who was very instrumental in starting the salon and helping to decorate, and Frank DeMayo.
Earlier in the month Scalettar visited David Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books in the Woodbridge Office Park. Lesser has been selling antiquarian books out of his Woodbridge office since 1994. Lesser, a retired lawyer, specializes in American social, political and cultural history. Lesser has roughly 10,000 books covering Colonial America, the American Revolution and Federal period, and 18th century American imprints; Afro-Americana, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the American South; law and economics, commerce, banking, trade, industry, canals, railroads, agriculture, urbanization; the American West; political campaigns, political issues and presidential politics.
As an example, Lesser pulled a book off a shelf to show Scalettar. The book was a leather-bound copy of Connecticut laws that was published before Connecticut became a state. Scalettar joked that it was impressive that lawmakers could fit all the state’s laws into the one book.
Lesser told Scalettar that most of his business is conducted via mail-order catalogues and book fairs. “We don’t expect local business, though there are some locals who are regular visitors,” he said. Lesser’s shop is small and books and ephemera are organized by category.
His is a specialized business and the internet has changed the market by more accurately showing how rare or not rare a specific item is, Lesser explained. Rarity affects pricing and is one reason that values are rising for items such as pamphlets, postcards and letters.
Lesser lives in Westville and enjoys his “reverse commute” adding that he enjoys the local restaurants and business climate in Woodbridge.
If you know of a new or expanding business in Town, or if you would like the First Selectman to tour your business, please contact Assistant Administrative Officer Betsy Yagla at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-389-3403.