Mona Ferdosian is co-owner, along with her husband Mo Kamian, of Ziba Salon on Hogan Street.
HOW LONG HAVE they BEEN IN BUSINESS?
The couple purchased the shop last September and had two employees running it until she took over in March.
WHY SET UP SHOP DOWNTOWN?
Ferdosian and Kamian were in the market to buy, but felt uneasy about the downtown market because of perceptions about the homeless and other urban problems until the previous owner convinced them otherwise.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT DOWNTOWN?
“Everything is close to each other. I see a lot of people going and coming. It makes you feel alive to be among it.”
WHAT’S NOT SO GREAT ABOUT DOWNTOWN?
“They need more shopping centers downtown and restaurants should be open at night. They need something to get people to come here.”
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CUTTING HAIR?
“Almost 18 years. When I was in school, I just wanted to have a job where I could make money quickly. I thought I should learn something to go back to work [after rearing two children]. Now, I love it and enjoy it very much. I like to be with people and talk to people.”
WHERE Was she TRAINED?
Hill Vocational School in Michigan.
THE BIG CHILL
Tired of Michigan winters, Ferdosian and her husband moved to Jacksonville 12 years ago.
ARE MOST OF YOUR CUSTOMERS FROM DOWNTOWN?
“I used to work on University Boulevard, so some come from there and some from downtown. I would like to get more customers from downtown coming on their lunch breaks, before or after work.” Clients run the professional gamut from bankers to secretaries and attorneys, all varying in age.
WHAT’S THE RAGE IN YOUR SALON?
“Most people want the straight hair that’s spiky in the back. The new style is big, poofy hair. It will be next year before it hits Jacksonville.”
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
“I have to do a lot of advertising so people will know we’re here. Also, the parking here is a big problem.”
Born in Iran, Ferdosian immigrated here with her husband, who wanted to further his education. The couple met at the University of Isfahan in central Iran where they both received college degrees. She tries to visit the homeland every three years or so. She has a bachelor’s degree in child psychology/counseling and he holds a Ph.D in geography. They reside in Indian Springs and have two children. Their daughter, Anahita, is a professor of digital photography in Miami, while their son, Arash, is a senior at Florida State University.
WHY NOT PURSUE PSYCH-OLOGY IN THIS COUNTRY?
Ferdosian’s husband answered: “She’s probably the most educated hairstylist in the United States. I think the psychology helps her a lot. Clients will talk about their innermost secrets with her and ask for her guidance. I believe she is a hair artist; anybody can cut hair.”
“Your hairstyle needs to match your personality and your work,” she added.
Swimming or taking walks on the beach. Ferdosian also enjoys reading, gardening and cooking. If she can tear herself away from her favorite sitcom, “Friends,” or a classic movie, she’ll likely go to A1A Ale Works in St. Augustine.
WHO’S YOUR HERO?
“JFK [President John F. Kennedy] because he influenced world affairs. He was young, had energy and changed the world.”
— by Monica Chamness