For years, C-UNIT New York Lace Wigs owner Stephanie Bowman knew people who needed and wanted wigs. There were cancer patients, women suffering from baldness and those who just wanted a different style.
Many of these individuals would turn to the Internet to find a wig, only to be disappointed when the piece did not fit correctly or looked “fake,” Bowman said.
This, Bowman said, is why she opened C-UNIT New York Lace Wigs at 146-92 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. in Jamaica about one year ago. The store’s name refers to a unit, which is another name for a wig.
“We wanted to have a nice, elegant store that has wigs made with 100 percent human hair,” said Bowman, who grew up in Jamaica. “These wigs will not stress people’s natural hair. Instead of getting braids, this is a good way for women of color to strengthen their hair.”
Women from all walks of life seek help from Bowman, including those who “have lost hair maybe because they are stressed or have been going through chemotherapy,” and the owner said it is an especially good feeling to help individuals going through an especially difficult period in their lives.
“I really wanted a feel-good business,” Bowman said. “We wanted a place were we could laugh and people could purchase something they really like and want.”
The store’s showroom has a variety of wigs for customers to peruse, including body waves and straight hair. The units range in price from about $599 to $1,099, with the average wig costing around $799. Women can try the pieces on in a private fitting room. Each piece lasts for about six months to one year.
Customers going through difficulties in their lives are not the only ones to walk through Bowman’s doors, and many of the customers just want a new look.
“These are wigs that you can wear a high ponytail with, and you’d never know it was a wig,” Bowman said. “These are the same wigs that the stars wear, like Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé and Jada Pinkett Smith.”
The store owner said she did not have to think long about where she wanted to open the store, which is decorated with paintings of women “who look like they have units,” and Jamaica was a natural fit for the business, according to Bowman.
“Jamaica is a melting pot of a lot of different African-American women coming from a lot of different places in the world,” Bowman said. “We wanted to be here for them, for the women of Queens and the women of neighboring boroughs.”
Bowman added she was especially pleased to be located on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard because she is next to Salon Taj, a store that can groom the women’s wigs.
C-UNIT is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information about C-UNIT, call 718-553-7999.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
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