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Supplying Beauty From the Inside Out in Simi

By Pamela Sosnowski

Simi Beauty Supply in downtown Simi has developed a reputation through the decades as the go-to store to find the latest hair care product, unique makeup item, or in recent years a realistic looking wig and do it yourself hair extensions, whether one is dealing with hair loss or just wants to try out a new look.

Emily Hernandez, a life-long Simi resident, has managed the beauty supply shop since 1989 when the original owner put it up for sale. Emily had already been working in the shop for six years, after starting as a part-time employee during high school. "I liked running the business and became involved in all aspects of the business," she says. She and her husband were newlyweds when they purchased the store and received financial help from her parents to make her dream come true. In 2000, the store relocated to its current location on Sycamore Drive.

She carried the usual array of hair and skin care products until the day a cancer patient walked into her shop, looking for a wig to compensate for her hair loss during treatment. She lived in Simi Valley and wanted to purchase one locally.

Emily didn't know much about the wig business, but she never forgot her customer's request. Two years later she came into contact with a wig vendor who taught her everything she needed to know about wigs and their maintenance. Emily even wore a wig herself for a year to learn what it was like to wear a wig constantly. In 2012, she added a selection of wigs to her inventory. Keeping wigs and hairpieces in stock allows her to serve a variety of clients including medical patients and those in show business. "My work is most rewarding when I fit a customer in a wig that makes her sparkle," says Emily. "I see her demeanor and posture change and, of course, the sparkle in the eye."

Emily herself has become a fan of wearing wigs. "They are just so easy to use, you can look your best with very little effort, and I like that," she explains.

The store also performs ear piercing and carries products that aren't so readily available in drugstores such as natural sunscreen, long lasting lip color, and salon quality hair color. For Emily, the most rewarding part of her job is getting to know her customers and making them look and feel beautiful. "I really enjoy when a customer calls me or comes in to show me how the products or their hair color turned out," says Emily "As I have spent the last 32 years educating and helping customers with their personal care needs, we have become like friends and family to so many of our customers."

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