“It’s hard to say goodbye,” said Lucy Maus, sitting in the building where she has worked as a beautician for 30 years. “But I feel like I need to put my focus on something new and I am excited. Nervous, but excited.”

The longtime owner of the Hairitage Shoppe on Albany’s Main Street has said farewell to her regular customers and will now put her focus on a new joint venture with her sister, Mary Braun.

The two will open The Braun Maus, a uniquely stocked shop filled with repurposed home decor, vintage items and furniture, many creatively made by Lucy and Mary. The location will be in the Hairitage Shoppe building, although new signage will soon be posted.  

“It’s a good time for me to make this change, but of course, any new venture is scary,” said Lucy, who officially gave her last haircut this week.

For her, the work that saw her through so much was more than just a job; it was a relationship-building way of life.

“You get to know people so well,” she said of her customers. “I am certainly going to miss that.”

Despite the bitter sweetness of the transition, Lucy looks forward to what lies ahead.

The Braun Maus – which is a combination of Mary and Lucy’s last names and a creative nod to the German heritage of the area – will give the sisters a chance to focus on their rustic and eclectic creativity.

“We have always enjoyed finding old treasures and reworking them to fit in our homes,” Mary explained. “Now, we have the chance to do that on a larger scale, creating things that our customers can add to their homes.”

The Braun Maus is an occasional sale venue, meaning that there are no set business hours. Instead the shop will operate on occasional weekends (Thursday through Saturday) and sporadic days in between. This weekend, the store will be open May 11, 12 and 13.   

“Because we are sisters, and it is just the two of us, it is hard for us to have more set hours – if there is a family event going on, chances are, we are both needing to be gone,” Mary said. “We encourage people to follow us on Facebook to see when we plan to be open and also, watch for the OPEN sign out on the sidewalk.”

In regard to their product line, it is ever-changing as Lucy and Mary make old things new again. Repurposed décor and furniture along with a few new pieces they have found along the way combine to inspire a feeling of home.

The hope is that The Braun Maus will be a place for customers to come to enjoy creativity or to find a unique accent piece for their home.

The sisters, who grew up in Albany, hope their venture will serve dual purposes. One is to find success in owning their own business and two, is to help make and keep Albany a great destination point.

“There is so much to do here – many shops, restaurants, parks, the bike trail and more,” Mary said. “We are a community worth a day trip, for sure!”

Working together comes naturally to the sisters, who both agree that they each compliment each other in both style and ability, neither would care to try running such a business on their own and jumping in together was the best way to go about the change.  

“It’s like, now or never, you know?” said Lucy with a smile. “It’s time to forget the ‘what ifs’ and time to go with the ‘why nots!’”