SENECA FALLS — Joseph Calarco got his first haircut at the Fashionette Hair Salon when he was 7 years old.
Now 53, the Auburn resident has come full circle: He is the newest owner of the salon and apartment building at the corner of Bridge and Bayard streets.
Calarco purchased the building in what’s known as the Sackett Business District in December from longtime owner and stylist Jim D’Eredita — and since then has been working to freshen it up. The two have a long history that goes beyond haircuts, though.
Carlarco, who is a regional manager for Aflac insurance, said D’Eredita helped watch him and his sister growing up when their mother was ill.
“I’ve known the D’Ereditas for a long time and wanted to continue the tradition,” Calarco said.
Since he assumed ownership, the building’s interior and exterior have been painted, and Calarco plans to add an additional apartment to the building’s three current units.
Two stylists are now offering services — including Linda Bordner, who has been cutting hair at that location for 40 years — and Calarco is looking to fill four other stations. He also is contemplating the addition of massage, acupuncture and facials, if he can connect with interested providers.
Calarco is excited both about the opportunity to run a business in his hometown (his family years ago operated a bakery, grocery and appliance store in Seneca Falls), plus the current resurgence of the Sackett Business District with the recent openings of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and Sackett’s Table restaurant and butcher shop.
“Anytime you can take a building and keep it going in the tradition it was is a good thing for the community,” he said. “It’s nice to have a business in the town we grew up in.”
D’Eredita is impressed with the building’s current update and said Calarco, who was D’Eredita’s last haircut there, often expressed his desire to own the Bridge Street building. Like Calarco, D’Eredita is excited about that corner’s future and the transformation of the former Seneca Knitting Mill.
“What (the National Women’s Hall of Fame) has done down there has face-lifted this area remarkably,” he said.
D’Eredita bought the building in 1976. His late partner, Howard “Hobbss” Lainhart, ran an antiques shop from the location for a short time while D’Eredita cut hair. D’Eredita also reminisced how his father operated a two-man barbershop and pool room at the location.
“It’s had a lot of good times and a lot of history,” he said.