Media Archive

Sebec Commons now open at four corners

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 46, November 17, 2004

By Mike Welldon
Staff Writer

Retail complex houses Northern Reflections Salon and Harvest Moon Gift and Coffee Shop

Instead of driving through Sebec's four comers, try stopping for a change. Change can do a person good. And Gingar and Sheila Dow know a lot about change. With 24 years of collective experience in the beauty field, they know a lot about changing a person for the better. Whether a haircut or highlight, these two are dedicated to their customers.

Gingar attended Pierre's Beauty School where she practiced cosmetology and graduated in just eleven months. After working at a Dover salon for six years, the chance to open her own business unveiled itself, thanks in part to John Spieker. "It's always been a dream of mine to open my own salon. I just had to find the right place," Gingar said.

Spieker moved to the area with his wife and four children from St. Paul Minn. and has tried to integrate himself as much as possible into the community through his development of a retail complex.

"My wife and I bought the commons building in the spring of 2002 and one of the things we wanted to do was have businesses housed inside the building that would compliment each other and provide jobs and services to the community," Spieker said.

So far he has succeeded. Northern Reflections, housed inside the commons building at Sebec four corners, offers a wide array of salon services. From haircuts to perms to having private rooms for waxing and tanning, Northern Reflections has it all.

"Once word spreads and people get in here, they'll be impressed by what we have to offer," Sheila said.
As they should. The salon also has a licensed massage therapist on board for all those nagging aches and pains, or even as a Friday afternoon gift to yourself after a long week at work.

Gingar and Sheila began renovating the building in mid-September and have turned the place completely around. Formerly a toy factory, the building had been vacant for quite some time before Spieker bought it.

"It was pretty rough when we first got in here," Gingar said.

But she didn't let that get in her way. Spending the time and money the place needed was not a concern for Gingar: this was her dream.

"The contractors worked well to get the place done and did a knockout job of helping us out," Spieker said.

Northern Reflections now enjoys a modem rustic look. Keeping with the theme of the Maine outdoors, the inside of the salon resembles that of a hunting lodge. If a hunting lodge were to have wrap-around hair dryers, shampooing sinks, and barber chairs.

The styling stations are separated by a large mirror, allowing customers on both sides to get exactly the look they want.

"It's important to listen to the customer and to make sure you understand what they want," Gingar said.

Northern Reflections shares the Sebec Commons building with the Harvest Moon gift shop, and Spieker says, hopefully more.

"My goal is to build usable businesses space for small businesses. Opening a small business is a great opportunity for anyone, and it diversifies the regional economy," Spieker said.

Spieker is in the midst of trying to draw small businesses into the unclaimed sections of the building and hopes to have two or three more ventures inside the commons. The hope is that one business will draw customers in not only for that one,
but for the others in the building as well.

"There are a lot of ways businesses can help supplement each other," Spieker said.

Spieker has also seen a lot of positive community feedback regarding the project. From people stopping him in stores to talk or coming into the salon to ask about the building, residents of Sebec are interested.

"So many people say, 'You know I love that building. I got married there' or 'My parents had their anniversary there.' A lot of folks never wanted to see the building fall into disrepair. My wife and I wanted to bring it back to being an asset to the community," Speaker said.

Northern Reflections is open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and evenings by appointment. Their
grand opening will be held on Dec. 3 and 4.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.