We are kicking off a new series on The Playground where we highlight some of our partners. Our first profile is on Eda, who combines her love of motherhood with her dynamic style and creative brand management expertise to bring Edamama Cute Cuts & More, a unique salon and boutique, to families in the NYC area.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would love to physically beam things (including people) from one place to another. Would that not be cool? Just like in Star Trek. I am Turkish, and the rest of my family lives there. I miss them every single day, and if I could have the superpower of beaming I would visit them every day. For now FaceTime is doing the job.
In three words, what were you like as a child?
Fearless. Tomboy. Stubborn.
How did Edamama come to be?
I was in advertising for over 18 years both on the brand and agency sides. I traveled the world, met the coolest people, experienced the most colorful cultures and managed global brands. It was full on Madman Era. I loved it and was very passionate about it. Once I became a mom, my priorities, my passion shifted to my children. I wanted to spend more time with my babies. I simply wanted to be near them. So I decided to start my own small business. The idea of Edamama was born selfishly out of my own need to find a great place to get stylish haircuts for my kids. As we love books and believe in the various benefits of reading, we added the independent children's book store aspect to the hair salon. As I love coffee, having an espresso bar in the space was a no-brainer. Everyone loves it too. The whole community aspect of running affordable classes for our community started with one sing along two years ago, and now we have multiple classes almost every day... thanks to services and partners like Sawyer!
And of course, I wrote the financial and business plans, developed the brand, and executed the process of opening a brick and mortar shop while I was pregnant with my littlest.
What is your favorite part about running a children’s business?
People. Mostly parents. I meet cool and interesting parents every day. All day. They just walk in and become part of our brand as they bring their families and share their experience with us. I love it.
The darndest thing a kid ever said to you?
That I was fat. Ha.
Dream job if you weren’t running Edamama?
My dream job would be to help empower young girls in a developing world. Whether it would be a marketing job in the communication industry or being a teacher in education, or in non-profit… I don't know. All I know, is that I am living proof that with empowerment and education girls can go anywhere they dream of.
I was part of the team that launched The Nike Foundation at Nike. Our job was to bring the communication and brand power of Nike to the world of development. We worked closely with the UN Foundation and other important organizations in the development world to create awareness for existing or new programs for girls. I loved doing the work on the ground with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
How do children benefit from experiencing Edamama?
I think they benefit in many ways. Firstly, we try to provide a tear free experience with haircuts. Many times, children are taken to places where clippers were used on them. If you are a two year old, the noise, the vibration and the pressure you feel on your head could be quite scary and traumatizing. We try to make the haircut experience positive and happy.
We have the largest children's book selection in the neighborhood. Families just come in to hang out and read books. We organize free storytimes with local children's book writers and illustrators all the time. We recently partnered with our local farmers market, and we do storytime on Tuesdays at the farmers market (until November).
We have amazingly creative and pioneer partners for various toddler classes, like Cumbe and Treasure Trunk Theatre, who came to Williamsburg only with us.
Share your personal motto or best piece of advice you received.
Show up every day and do your best.
What about your childhood motivated you to stay involved in your passion?
I grew up in an extremely happy, loving and supportive environment. I knew, growing up, there was nothing I could not do if I wanted it and worked hard for it. Where I come from grounds me every day and gives me strength to lead my life and future of my family.
My passion has been evolving, shifting, growing as I get older. However, the structure that my parents built in us while we were growing up keeps me relentlessly doing whatever my passion is at any given time.
Photo Credit: http://www.gopikat.com/