When Sandy Tryszyn signed up for cosmetology as a high school elective, she had no idea the class would be a blueprint for her future career.
“I picked cosmetology because it sounded fun, and 33 years later, I’m still doing it,” Tryszyn says.
The Pittsburgh native opened her own salon, Sandra D’s Hair Designs, in East County in September 2008 after owning salons in other states.
“We have a lot of fun here,” Tryszyn says. “I want a warm, welcoming atmosphere.”
Although Tryszyn has dabbled in other business ventures over the years, including helping with her ex-husband’s trucking company and answering telephones, she’s always gone back to work as a hairdresser. Even when she owned her own bakery, getting up at 2 a.m. to start work, she’d still go out to cut hair all day.
“I was nuts back then,” she says, laughing.
The self-proclaimed workaholic started doing appointments as early as 6:30 a.m. after a customer offered to pay her double if she could accommodate his business schedule.
“I was there by 6:15 a.m.,” Tryszen says. “It started as a joke, and it picked up after that.”
She moved to the area six years ago from North Carolina, renting space at other local salons. But none of them felt like home.
“I couldn’t find a decent place to work,” Tryszyn says. “I was very frustrated.”
The experience ultimately led her to open Sandra D’s. And the business move has proven successful. In just eight months, she went from three stylists, including herself, to more than a dozen.
“I’ve got the best staff in Lakewood Ranch,” she says. “I’m very proud of them.”
For two-and-one-half years, Tryszyn fostered dogs for Bishop’s Animal Shelter in Bradenton, but it became too hard to part with the animals. Now she has a pup of her own, Callie.
“She picked me,” Trysyzn says, laughing. “I didn’t pick her.”
The Bradenton resident loves to read, mostly mystery books. “Anything non-political,” she says. “One of my favorite authors is Jonathan Kellerman.”
“I’m stuck in the ‘70s with music,” Tryszyn says. “I like it all. Barry White’s got to be my favorite, though.”