“I work next door as a hairdresser and this is such a special place. I didn't want to see an Irish store right next door closing,” said Kenny, who bought the shop just three short weeks ago. “It’s got a great location and it’s the only store like it in Queens. There’s one in Riverdale and one in the Bronx. This is the last one so it can't close.”
Originally opened 15 years ago, the store is a trove of high-quality gifts. On Sunday, Kenny continued a tradition by hosting the annual Christmas Open House.
Kenny said that while the holiday season is one of particular importance to the shop, business generally remains steady throughout the year with customers seeking gifts to commemorate birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.
At the age of 14, Liz Kenny started her career as a hairdresser in her hometown of Longford in Ireland.
By 18, she was running her own salon in Edgeworthstown with the support of her sisters, who were her employees. But six years after she opened the salon, she found herself seeking broader horizons.
So she transferred ownership of her salon to a cousin and followed one of her sisters to New York City.
Feeling isolated from her culture, Kenney decided to join the Irish Business Organization in New York, which eventually lead to her appointment as executive director of the New York Irish Center in 2007.
After three years in that position, Kenny found herself desirous of a return to her professional roots, so she applied for a position as a hairdresser at Celtic Hair Design, where she still works.