EAST ORANGE, NJ - The term “Urban Legend” is an expression that should only be used in the most reverent circumstances; and only for people that have done extraordinary things in the community. Said Boykins is one of those individuals. Boykins, and his wife Gigi have long been a positive fixture in East Orange and yesterday the couple celebrated 25 years of business at Illtown Unisex Salon with East Orange Mayor ted Green and several dignitaries.
The City joined the business in A ‘Grand Re-Opening’ ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating 25 years of business at Illtown.
Illtown Unisex Salon was established in 1994 by Gigi and Sa’id Boykin, two high school sweethearts with the vision to one day open a business in their native town of East Orange. Gigi and Sa’id both attended the East Orange Public High School where they meet in 1987. They married and have two children Zaniah and Sa’id Jr who also shared their love for the City of East Orange.
The Boykin Family often made contributions to the scholastic and sports programs in the city. Mr. Boykin coached the East Orange Jr. Jaguars, for many years, and made many contributions in the support for East Orange Rams and other programs. Their love for the City of East Orange went far beyond business and they continue to support the redevelopment of the City including the parks and recreation projects.
In 1994 they opened their beauty salon at 4 Winans Street the original location. They quickly outgrew the rental space because of the vast popularity of great service from skilled stylist and barbers. They were the place to visit when you needed a good hair cut or style. The growth of Illtown Unisex Salon was overwhelming and many of the original customers continue to patronize the business today.
The Boykin Family made the decision to purchase their current location 363 Main Street from the City of East Orange public auction over 20 years ago. In 1999 the building sustained major fire damage from a fire that completely demolished three adjacent building and left Main Street changed for many years to come.
Illtown Unisex Salon rebuilt in year 2000 coming back even stronger than ever. The major reconstruction and design of the salon often attracted new customers and walk-ins mainly from the public transit buses and train riders that frequently passed the business. Our staff of 20+ years, Nkiyah Taylor, KeKe Thompson who provided outstanding service. Many satisfied customers continue to support and patronize our business. We will always stay socially connected and committed to furnish great services for all our guest and great customers.