RW3 Depot Brings Beauty Services to Renovated Train Depot

What started as an old train depot on 44 Milford Street is now a one-stop beauty shop. According to a Sept. 2022 article in the Daily Sentinel by Carly Stone, the space has been owned and operated by the Ray family since World War II. This historic train depot has been maintained and remodeled as new Ray family members have inherited it over the years.

In 2015, the owners of Ray Brother’s BBQ, Tucker and Colin Ray, took over the space. Tucker Ray and his wife Sandra Ray just renovated it together, converting the former hardware store Ray’s Wayside into three health and beauty vendors, according to Stone’s article: Sandra Ray Beauty Co., Clifford’s Barber Co. and Station 44 Salon.

Services offered at these vendors include a hair salon, eyebrow microblading, a spray tan studio, eyelash technician, infrared sauna therapy and a barber shop. Additionally, they plan to rent out one of the vendors to Viridescent Times, which will sell their line of CBD products and eventually become a dispensary once they receive the proper licensing. Sandra Ray expressed her goals for renovating this space.

“We wanted to revive the building and give small businesses the opportunity to offer their unique services to the community,” Ray said. “When I started looking for rental opportunities in Hamilton for my business, there wasn’t anything that fit my specific needs which is what put the thought of purchasing and renovating the depot in Tucker and Colin’s head in the first place. We decided to jump in with both feet and we’re blessed to have friends and family who happen to be in the health and beauty industries who were also looking to branch out and/or expand their services too.”

Local Hamilton business owner Shole Strand, who owns Shol’s Boutique on Lebanon Street, looks forward to seeing the services that this new shop provides.

“I’m always excited about any new business starting,” Strand said. “The hope is it will provide more options for the community and more customers for everyone from additional marketing and advertising. It sounds like this new beauty shop is very specialized which is a different audience than the current shops in Hamilton.”

Ray hopes that this shop will be a great addition to the Hamilton and Colgate community, servicing members and helping them grow. In addition, she wants it to become a more convenient option for people wanting these types of services.

“[I want it] to be able to bring our specialized skills and services locally rather than community members having to travel elsewhere,” Ray said. “All but one business in the space are women-owned and operated, and the businesses in this space are bringing something unique to the community that Hamilton locals, as well as the Colgate community, have not had access to in the past without traveling.”

Junior Sarah Stenovec is excited about the prospect of not having to venture outside of Hamilton every time she looks to receive one of these services, such as spray tans.

“I love getting spray tans but until this point there haven’t been many options in town to do so,” Stenovec said. “It’s really great that they are expanding options in town to receive services such as these.”

Although there are some other beauty shops already running in Hamilton, Strand notes that it can be a great thing to have multiple shops that offer similar services.

“I think it’s beneficial to have multiple options for the town,” Strand said. “We have multiple coffee shops, but they still have different options. There are multiple boutiques, but we offer different products. There’s room to have multiple shops with similar services because they can offer niche services or appeal to different demographics. Again, more options appeal to more buyers and hopefully more advertising to bring more customers to town.”

Strand notes that it can sometimes be difficult for businesses to survive in a town like Hamilton due to the small population size and rural community.

“It’s unfortunate when a business closes,” Strand said. “It affects the other businesses because empty storefronts are a turn-off for existing shoppers. A bigger variety of shops keep buyers in the town longer, makes them more likely to come back again and share their positive experience with others.”

Ray wants her new shops and services to help support community members as she builds as they build their businesses. She also hopes to continue the legacy around the train depot space and its ties to Colgate University.

“Tucker and Colin Ray’s family has ties to the Colgate community from many years ago,” Ray said. “His grandfather Russell, who was the original owner of ‘Ray’s Wayside’ graduated from Colgate. Their maternal grandmother was one of, if not the first, women to take classes at the university also.”