Nikki Dycus holds a wig in each hand. Both are made of wavy brown hair, and if they were on someone’s head, it would be hard to tell the difference between them.
When Dycus compares their weight and turns the wigs inside out, she reveals their subtle uniqueness. One looks more woven on the inside, and feels heavier—a more temporary solution to the problem of hair loss. The other has a thin inner lining, and is more suited to conform to a person’s head, the long-term solution Dycus is trying to provide to her clients: an opportunity to have a full head of hair again, and feel better about themselves, despite being treated for cancer or leukemia, or having diseases like Alopecia, which cause hair loss.
After waiting six months to renovate the facility, Dycus officially opened her business, Evolaccio, Friday night as part of a grand opening celebration. Three other businesses which opened in the area in the past year also took part in a night of hair, fashion, and wellness.
The businesses—including clothing and jewelry store Park Place Vintage, hair salon Beauty By Nature, the Natural Healing Tree Women’s Wellness Center—are located less than a couple hundred feet away from each other on either side of the Point Richmond Triangle in downtown Point Richmond.
“It’s a great community to be in,” said Wyvonne Brown, owner of Beauty by Nature. “All women, having our own businesses, speaks high volumes.”
Across the street from Evolaccio, Vanyel Parker strolled through the Beauty by Nature salon during Friday’s opening celebration. Mini chandelier-like fixtures hung from the ceiling, and a red carpet down the center of the room matched the paint on the walls. Parker stopped in front of the hair dryers near the back wall of the salon to talk about the salon’s owner, Brown.
“She’s been doing my hair for eight years,” Parker said, brushing her hands through her hair. “I’ve never been disappointed when I get out of her chair.”
Parker, who came to the area from Long Beach, initially struggled to find someone to do her hair. For a while, she even made the trip back down to Long Beach just to get it done. But after meeting Brown, Parker now visits every two weeks. “You don’t just come in here to get your hair done,” Parker said. “You come in here to relax.”
Although Brown’s salon just opened in its current location in February, she hadn’t moved far; her shop used to be located next door. Park Place Vintage now occupies the spot, where owner Kathy Scott gets the most out of her space. The store’s tight quarters are filled with vintage clothing, mannequins and jewelry, with plaid bowties for men, traditional floppy sunhats for women, and necklaces and rings for men and women.
Scott loves retro fashion “because it’s cool,” she said. “Everyone can afford it and you can’t ever get it again.”
Just like Brown’s salon, Scott’s business has been open since February. Scott also owns The Art Lounge, a vintage and consignment shop just down the street, which she started in January 2005.
“I love this town,” Scott said. “It is a destination now.”
Across the street from these two shops, and tucked behind Evolaccio, is the National Healing Tree Women’s Wellness Center, which Cindy Howell started a year ago. Howell’s goal is simple: she wants to help women to improve their careers, relationships, and fitness, while also promoting nutrition. She calls it a place of “women working and healing together.”
The center offers workshops, like raw food tasting and health coach training, and women in business networking nights to encourage women to eat and live better, and exchange ideas with one another.
Howell hopes to foster a place where women can exchange ideas with each one another. “If we are networking together,” Howell said, “we learn from one another.”
As she was speaking, Scott came from across the street to say hello. The women chatted briefly about plans for the second day of the grand opening and agreed that they would help pass out flyers for each others’ businesses.
The interaction seemed to embody the partnerships that Howell hoped to foster at her wellness center. By bringing women together, giving them the tools to feel better about themselves, and learning from each other, she hoped they would “look good, and feel better,” she said.
“It comes full circle,” Howell said. “It is work we just have to do.”