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Upper East Side Wigmaker Fits Orthodox Women Affected by Sandy

By Sonja Sharp | November 20, 2012 9:47am

UPPER EAST SIDE — Some offered up coats, others gave up blankets.

When Flora Shepelsky heard about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in the Rockaways and Sea Gate, the popular Manhattan wigmaker broke out the hair pieces.

Many women in the Orthodox community, who must cover their hair under Jewish law, lost their pricey hair pieces, along with their other possessions, in the monster storm.

And while a turban or a scarf will do in a pinch, women in most communities prefer wigs, a multi-year investment costing thousands of dollars.

"We decided to donate to the religious community because they were devastated," said Shepelsky, who owns Design by Flora at 243 E. 78th St. "People have so much more on their mind right now — they’re walking around in scarves."

Shepelsky will be giving away 100 hat falls and band falls, specialized hairpieces that are worn under a hat or under a hairband that have "no hair on top."  The giveaway will take place at her Manhattan store on Mondays and her Teaneck, NJ store until the supply runs out.

"We decided to donate wigs because obviously a lot of women have lost wigs, and they need it," she said. "They’re so dazed and confused at this point, I want to make sure I extend the offer to whoever can get to me."

She said her stores have received dozens of calls from women desperate for a bit of normalcy in the chaos that is still gripping many seaside communities across the region.

"It’s just a pure good deed I wanted to do for the community that has fed my family for over 20 years," she said. "It’s something I felt like I had to do."