30th anniversary for South St. businesses

(Courtesy Photo) Fresh Hair’s first sign being installed in the summer of 1982.

Joy Silverstein, owner of Fresh Hair salon at 62 South St., and Jeffrey Ferris, owner of Ferris Wheels Bike Shop at 66 South St., are celebrating 30 years of doing business in Jamaica Plain this year.

The celebration, scheduled to coincide with First Thursday on Aug. 2, after the Gazette’s deadline, was expected to feature a barbecue food truck, bicycle and skate stunt performers and live music atop the building that houses both businesses, Ferris and Silverstein told the Gazette.

Fresh Hair opened in July 1982, followed by Ferris Wheels in September of that year. According to Silverstein, at the time, South Street was “scary” and an “urban emptiness.”

Along with a new attorney’s office and market, however, Fresh Hair and Ferris Wheels helped anchor upper South Street to Centre Street, Silverstein said.

Ferris called himself and Silverstein “pioneers.”

“When Joy and I set up shop 30 years ago, we were helping make JP what it is today,” he said.

After college, Silverstein went to cosmetology school, which led to a job on Newbury Street by 1980, she said.  It was there that she found a business partner and an urge to work close to home.

“This is my neighborhood,” Silverstein said. “I couldn’t resist the camaraderie and cheap rent of Jamaica Plain.”

After doing much of the renovations with friends, Silverstein and her partner opened shop at 64 South St. By the time Ferris Wheels became its neighbor, Fresh Hair had three employees.

An electrical fire in 1986 gutted the corner unit of the building, Number 62, which Fresh Hair took over. The expanded space allowed Silverstein to have her first “real office,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ferris occasionally swapped storefronts, going from Number 66 to Number 64, a smaller space, when business wasn’t as good.

In 1998, with the building in danger of being foreclosed, Silverstein bought the property, becoming Ferris’s landlord. In 2005, Silverstein opened Fresh Copy at 64 South St., before selling it to Ferris in 2008.

Both Ferris and Silverstein are optomistic about the future of their businesses.

“The shining moment is now. There are so many people riding bikes today,” Ferris said.

“Fresh Hair’s future is unknown, but it is welcomed with open arms,” Silverstein said.

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