2019 a year of solid growth for Lawrence Township

2019 a year of solid growth for Lawrence Township
Lori Feeney

Shawn Roberson, left, John Alberty, Jeff Helmick, and seated, Jess Capuano and Heather Jones, are operating successful businesses in Lawrence Township.


If you want to see signs of healthy business and residential growth, you need look no further than Lawrence Township and the plaza located at 10880 state Route 212, just east of Bolivar.

Owned jointly by Heather Jones, Bobby Eddy and Bill Ferris, the plaza houses four businesses that have found the location a perfect place to grow. That growth comes as no surprise to Matt Ritterbeck, chairman of the Lawrence Township board of trustees.

“The real-estate market in Lawrence Township and its villages is hot,” Ritterbeck said.

A trustee for 13 years, Ritterbeck credits, among other things, the township’s flexible approach to zoning. "We have zoning legislation of course,” he said, “but we maintain open minds when it comes to variances and rezoning in order to facilitate strong business and residential growth.”

Small wonder that new construction on empty lots has kept the zoning department hopping this past year.

Ritterbeck also gives credit to the people of the community. “We have a unique community here where everyone pitches in to create mutual success,” he said. “We have a remarkable number of people living here who have a genuine ‘pay-it-forward’ attitude and want nothing more than to serve their community.”

Let’s meet some of those community-minded people who call the plaza home.

212 Auto Service

When the new owners purchased the property, there was one business already in place: 212 Auto Service. Owner John Alberty said his interest in all things mechanical started in his youth. “Someone gave me a mini-bike, but not like you think,” he said. “It was in pieces in an old milk crate, so I went to the library, checked out a book and learned how to build the thing.”

From that moment on he was hooked.

A New Jersey native who has lived in Ohio for about 20 years, Alberty worked at a number of local auto shops where he developed a solid reputation and a following. Eight months after opening his business, Alberty was so busy he hired another auto technician, Jeff Helmick, to help with the steady work. He credits his wife Sally with helping him build the business, which is a full-service shop offering complete diagnostics, suspension work, alignments, brakes, tires, oil changes and tune-ups. They also are a U-Haul rental location.

“We do just about everything except transmissions,” Alberty said. “But who knows? I might add that one day too.”

Lock 7 Hair Studio

Heather Jones had her sights on the little plaza outside Bolivar for years, thinking it would be a great place to start a business. She and her boyfriend Bobby Eddy are co-owners of Lock 7 Hair Studio.

“We were actually looking for a property to flip when this one came available,” Jones said. “But the more we looked into it, the more we thought it might be time to go into business for ourselves.”

A licensed cosmetologist, Jones gained 10 years of experience at D&S Hair Design in New Philadelphia and Great Clips in Dover before striking out on her own. As a full-service salon, Lock 7 offers haircuts for the whole family. They also provide color (including Balayage), waxing, perms, a massaging pedi-chair with whirlpool and nail service that includes acrylics, shellacs and gels.

Old Skool Ink

Shawn Roberson is the owner of Old Skool Ink tattoos and supply company. He and Whitney Drown have been in the plaza for a little over a year, spreading their artistry in the form of tattoos and coverups. The two worked with each other previously in other tattoo shops.

“The town has really welcomed me with open arms,” Roberson said. “I’ve always loved the community and am really happy to have my business here.”

While most customers are local, Roberson also has clients who travel hundreds of miles for one of his tats. The studio’s Facebook page is packed with recommendations including one from a client who drove from Georgia just to be able to wear a piece of Roberson’s art.

Roberson said he named the business Old Skool Ink because he was taught by his father, who was an old-school tattoo artist.

Browhemian Cosmetics

Jess and Vince Capuano run Browhemian Cosmetics, a permanent makeup and cosmetic tattoo studio. Jess Capuano said she loves the fact that three businesses in the plaza provide beautification for the entire body, tip to toe.

An esthetician, Capuano started the business by focusing on microblading for eyebrows. Her bohemian design style and the eyebrow services gave birth to the name Browhemian.

Today the studio is on the cutting edge of services such as permanent makeup, cosmetic tattooing, microblading for eyebrows and permanent makeup removal. A second esthetician and tattoo artist, Torrie, has joined the staff since the business opened.

“I’ve always been artistic, and I knew I wanted a career that would utilize those talents,” Capuano said. “I just didn’t know what form it would take.”

Husband Vince Capuano specializes in scalp micropigmentation, a form of cosmetic tattoo where individual "micro-follicles" are created across the scalp to replicate the appearance of hair follicles in people who are balding.

Browhemian attracts clients from multiple states who are willing to travel for what the Capuanos and their crew offer.

“We have clients from Columbus, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states who are looking for someone they can trust,” Jess Capuano said. “After all, what we do is permanent; there aren’t any second chances.”

Coming soon to the studio are a spray tan booth, facials and spa services.

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