If it is one thing you should know about Girasole Salon in Babylon, it is simply that it is pronounced "Jeer-uh-soul-A."
"I can't tell you how many times its been mispronounced," owner Sara Luthy said with a laugh. The word girasole in Italian means "sunflower," which adorn the salon on the walls, in paintings and even in a flower vase.
"I didn't want to do a typical name, I really wanted something unique," Luthy said. "I'm Italian-American and I love sunflowers – so it went from there."
"It's always a conversation piece... and it worked out pretty well."
Luthy opened Girasole in the village at its original location at 260 Deer Park Avenue over nine years ago. Before Girasole though, Luthy was in the industry for 35 years. 10 of those years were spent on the North Shore of the island working for Paul Anthony in Manhasset.
Luthy then moved on to freelancing her services out for hairstyling and make-up for 15 years before moving to Babylon herself.
"It was such an intimate community," she said. "I wanted my daughter to be able to go to good schools and then I found the storefront." The original location proved to be close to home for Luthy and a great spot to start her own business.
A near-decade of good service proved to be a game-changer for Luthy and Girasole. The business outgrew its original storefront over the last few years, forcing Luthy to start looking elsewhere. In July, the Sprint Store closed up shop and paved the way for Girasole to move to its current, new location.
"A thing I hear all the time is that we have great service," she said. "I'm a people person – so I hire people like that and I think it shows."
The new location, which opened in late October, is now a thriving addition to the middle of the Business District. Luthy said she hopes it will take the salon even further with its successes.
"We have very talented people working here," she noted. "I'm an artist and I love what I do."