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Back in business: Former salon owner returns to the hair business in Farmington

It appears Kawa Abdulkadir is better at cutting hair than he is at keeping promises to himself. That might be best for everyone.

Last week, five years after he swore he would never own another hair salon, Abdulkadir is back behind the chair with Family Clips, a family-friendly shop located at 18400 Pilot Knob Road.

Abdulkadir was a hair stylist in London when he met a woman from Minnesota. They got married and he moved to the United States in 1993. He opened his first salon, also called Family Clips, in 1996 and added another one shortly thereafter.

In 2003, he went to Europe for more training and came home to open a spa.Something with a higher-end look and feel than the family-friendly business he had been running.

"I got this idea that because I am labeled somehow ... a world-class stylist, I was at the time thinking, I should charge a lot more for hair cuts," he said.

He liked the spa, but he missed having contact with entire families. Then, going through a divorce, he sold his businesses. He told himself he was done with hair care, done with owning his own salon. He went back to school to get an MBA and got a job at US Bank.

It never felt quite right, though.

"I found out it was mundane," he said of the business world. "I am not like that. I need to be on my feet."

His friends could tell something was wrong, too. Six weeks ago they gave him an intervention and told him to get back to cutting hair.

So, he did. And he did it quickly. Abdulkadir found a space formerly occupied by Cahill Salon and brought back Family Clips. He's back to charging low prices, and he's back to focusing in families. At one of the stations in the salon there is an antique duck he calls Waddler. Kids who come in can ride the duck if they sit still for their haircut.

Promise or no promise, after a little more than a week in business, Abdulkadir knows he made the right decision. Even with minimal signage, people were starting to find him. And he was back doing something he loved.

"I regret I wasted five years of my life not owning my own business, not doing hair," he said. "It's my creativity. That's where I'm very creative. I have a good imagination. I like to make customers happy.... I have a natural thing for it."

For the time being, Abdulkadir is the only employee at Family Clips. He is in the process of hiring more.

The salon is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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