AUBURN — Last Christmas, Kari Anne Sawran and Dezarae Carr decided it was time to make a change.
The owner and manager of Deja Vu Consignment Boutique and Salon had been operating out of a space at the corner of Genesee and Fort streets for years — Sawran opening the Auburn boutique in 2012 before hiring Carr as the manager for the accompanying salon in 2014.
"When I first started the business, I went in just with the mindset of doing retail," said Sawran, a former business development executive. "Then, since the (salon) equipment was there, I thought why not utilize the space? Why not bring women together and have a one-stop shop where someone can come in, get their nails done, get some pampering and then also get clothes too. So that opened up a vision."
And as time passed, that vision moved further downtown to a suite on the corner of Genesee and Dill streets, a place with more foot traffic and more opportunities to grow.
"Originally we were looking for a larger space ... but we plan on getting bigger and branching out within the next year or so," Carr said, noting that the pair has plans to take over more space at 131 Genesee St., a building made up of multiple suites. "We're starting small, but we'll work our way up."
The new shop — Deja Vu Boutique & Dezign Salon — celebrated its grand opening Friday, Feb. 24. Both Sawran and Carr have agreed to share the suite until they can expand.
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On the left, Sawran has set up shop, selling gently used shoes, clothing and jewelry at Deja Vu. And on the right, Carr runs her salon, which has two washing and styling stations — one for herself, the other for her friend and stylist, Lindsey Moore.
"I always wanted to do hair," Carr said, smiling. "I grew up in Niles ... and there was a little hairdresser up the street. We always went to her house and she had a little mannequin head that I played with the whole time I was there. ... And here I am now with my own salon."
Sawran said her story is similar, having grown up in Auburn with a dream of owning her own shop.
"I always wanted my own little hometown shop," she said. "In my mind, it was my dream to run my own little business so I took the plunge."
"We're all about supporting local business ... and we've had such an amazing support system from other shops in the area," Carr added. "We're like family."