I was lucky to sit and talk with seasoned hairstylist and business owner, Fabiana Hackett on Friday evening at her salon, Fabiana Edwards on 8th & Asbury. As Fabiana’s last guest had just left with hair colored styled to perfection, we were able to sit down and chat about her history with owning a business and working in Ocean City, New Jersey.
As Asbury Avenue in OCNJ is a big attraction to locals and tourists, businesses have continued to grow. I was able to discuss with Fabiana the reasons why Ocean City is the perfect place to own and operate a small business. Read on to hear about OCNJ from a unique perspective.
Q: Explain to me your background of working and owning a business in Ocean City.
A: I worked in Ocean City for 4 years up to owning my business and saw that there was more opportunity as a business owner on the Avenue. We opened Fabiana Edwards in June 2014, and we’re closing in on our 3rd year here. Previously I was in a secluded little salon, and before that about 24 years ago, I had been a business owner and sold my business to have children and be a mom. I really missed being my own boss and wanted to give people opportunities that I didn’t have.
Q: How did you know Ocean City was a place you wanted to start your business?
A: I think there’s a lot of diversity in Ocean City with people coming in from different areas. It’s been building up in the last 10-20 years. Ocean City offers a lot of exposure and with the tourists, and I wanted the opportunity to meet a lot of other people and entrepreneurs.
Q: How do you utilize your business to interact with Ocean City locals as well as tourists?
A: I attend the Chamber meetings and merchant meetings downtown. We do a lot of fundraising as well as our Fall and Spring Block Party. In April and October, we get to meet other people and put our business out there, share ideas, and when people come back to town they know we’re here. They look forward to coming back into the salon.
Q: Explain the fundraising opportunity you started a few years back and the impact it had on the community.
A: Back in December of 2014 we had a young lady that committed suicide. We decided to do a fundraiser recycling prom dresses in the hopes to give out scholarships to the Ocean City High school students in memory of a classmate that had passed away. So we raised funds, we were able to also give away dresses to children that were deprived and couldn’t afford new dresses. We were able to give away $2,000 in scholarships, $1,000 to each individual who met the criteria, whether they’re in public relations, mental health, or any kind of service work because they were the kind of people involved in helping her family in the crisis. We were also able to fund dresses even over to Guatemala with some salon guests who were on missions trips so we could bless those across the world as well.
Q: If you could name one thing you love most about Ocean City, what would it be?
A: That’s hard, there’s so much to love! I really like the people and the different backgrounds. There are exchange students coming in from different countries, I like hearing about all the different ways of life. Of course, I love the beach, the sunshine, the smell, the restaurants, the way the community all interacts. All the different stores, vendors and owners all come together and work in unity.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: Hmm, I don’t know, that’s a good question. I still see myself here in Ocean City, hopefully with a growing staff and services. The future is still unwritten, but I definitely see my toes in the sand somewhere!
As you can tell by just one business owner in Ocean City, the heart, and soul of the town goes way beyond just the sand and the waves. It’s people like Fabiana who make the town the best beach town in America and keep people coming back year after year.
Whenever you’re in town looking for salon services, be sure to stop by Fabiana Edwards Studio Salon at 815 Asbury! Tell them Eat Play OCNJ sent you.
All photographs were taken by me.