Studio SLK opens on Maple Avenue

Susan Du

The 1900 block of Maple Avenue, flanked by the El on one side and bustling Ridge Avenue on the other, seems like an unlikely destination for relaxation and rejuvenation. But behind the doors of newly opened Studio SLK is an oasis of turquoise walls, floral print couches and state-of-the-art hair care amenities.

The Fifth Ward’s fifth new business of 2012, Studio SLK, 1934 Maple Ave., is yet another indication of Evanston’s gradual recovery from the economic slump of recent years, Ald. Delores Holmes (5th) said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.

“I’m so excited,” Holmes said. “I think (the economy) is bouncing back.”

Studio SLK is a lifelong dream come true for Evanston resident Sandy Lewis Kadiri, who simultaneously graduated from Evanston Township High School and Chicago-based McDaniel Beauty School in 1989. Prior to opening her first business, Kadiri worked as an HIV counselor for the Evanston Health Department for five years as well as a hair stylist at Executive Studio Hair Salon, 801 Main St., for 15 years.

Though the dream of running her own studio had taken a couple decades to realize, Kadiri said her passion for hair and beauty originated at an early age.

“When I was younger, I was always playing with hair,” she said. “I was doing hair even before I knew you had to go to school to get a license to do it professionally. If I did not have to pay bills, this is actually something I would do for free.”

Kadiri said she was initially concerned about opening a business in the current economy, but she ultimately decided to go with her gut.

“I love making people beautiful,” she said. “I always believe what is to be will be. So I believe as long as I open my doors, people will come.”

Studio SLK’s opening also showcases the debut work of local interior designer Britany Scurry, a recent Harrington College of Design graduate.

Scurry said Studio SLK was a platform for both her and Kadiri to realize their dreams of going into business doing what they love.

“There are a lot of salons in Evanston,” Scurry said. “Sandy really wanted a place of class and a destination that was relaxing and comfortable so her clients could come and meet and socialize and just receive quality services. And that is something that we worked hard for to come across in the design of the space.”

Ultimately, Kadiri said she wanted her salon to promote a feeling of inclusion and safety for the modern, multicultural woman.

“I want to be able to service a diverse group of people,” she said. “Women of color are all over, and we need to be able to have a place to come and be relaxed and don’t feel like, ‘Oh, should I go in there?’ I think I’ve created a space where anyone who comes in would feel comfortable.”

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