Category Archives: Lawrence

Alterations By Sarah opens in Lawrence

WICHITA — Samir Arif wasn’t yet born when his parents first started Alterations By Sarah in 1982, but now he and his wife are opening a branch of the Wichita company in Lawrence with plans to one day take over the entire business.

“It was always sort of something we thought about doing, spreading the business into other parts of Kansas,” Samir Arif says.

His parents opened locations in Oklahoma City in the 1990s but then sold them.

His father has six of the shops in Wichita still.

His mother, Sarah Lockwood — the shop’s original Sarah — is now divorced from his father and is out of the business.

“It’s kind of funny because my wife’s name is also Sara, without the ‘h,’” Arif says.

He is former deputy director of communications for the governor, and Sara Arif is the former director of public affairs for the state Department on Aging.

Their shop is at Sixth Street and Wakarusa on the west side of Lawrence. Samir Arif says even just a couple of years ago, that area was considered rural.

“The last couple of years, there’s just been an explosion of new development,” he says. “We’re pretty hopeful.”

He and his wife, who are having what he calls a gradual store opening this week, haven’t decided where they’ll open next.

“At this point, we haven’t really made any plans going forward,” he says. “It’s just a matter of getting this one up and going.”

Arif says he’s happy to be following in the footsteps of his parents, who immigrated from India.

“They’re really very much the story of the American dream,” he says. “I’m just very much looking forward to carrying on the tradition.”

Genesis Health Clubs to open new sites in Lawrence, Leavenworth

UPDATED – Genesis Health Clubs is adding two new sites in two cities to its chain of facilities throughout Kansas.

Lawrence and Leavenworth locations make the ninth and 10th Genesis sites in the chain.

Owner Rodney Steven II says it’s a chance for Genesis and his staff to grow.

“It just gives them more opportunities.”

The health clubs will be in former Maximus Fitness locations in each city.

Steven plans facelifts at each facility, including locker room upgrades, new cardio and weight machines, expanded staff hours, free towel service and increased personal training and group training options. He plans to hire all Maximus employees who want to remain.

Steven also plans to build a second club in Lawrence. He’s close to picking a site.

“I’ve been trying to go to the Lawrence market for over five years,” he says. “So I know it like the back of my hand.”

Genesis, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has four facilities in Wichita as well as clubs in Hutchinson, Salina and Emporia. Steven also operates the Wichita Ice Center and hopes to add a fitness center there.

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