GENESEO – Almost seven years ago, Karen Klein was hunched in the dark, manufacturing contact lenses. She worked the night shift, ate dinner at 8 in the morning, and was extremely unhappy with her health.
Now, she owns a bright Main Street Geneseo business, Uptown Tan, and says that her life is completely changed for the better.
“It was a transformation,” said Klein. “I lost 138 pounds. I’m just now getting used to working during the day. Owning my own business now is such a challenge and a pleasure, and I have inspiration from my kids and the support of my husband.”
Her son, who has autism, is moved out and working on his own. Her daughter achieved a Master’s Degree at age 22 and is now a dietitian. Her husband, Howard, sent her flowers on Wednesday, the 27th anniversary of his proposal, and has lived with her in Retsof for the past 20 years.
“Howard’s a jack of all trades, master of none,” laughed Klein. “He’s my handyman and very supportive. When the opportunity to own Uptown Tan came up, I hemmed and hawed. I really wanted to do it, the kids were moved out and good and things were going great, and finally Howard said ‘You should have something just for you.’ And that was it.”
As far as the day-to-day business at Uptown Tan is concerned, Klein has changed little from the previous owner.
“I wanted to make everything a smooth transition and I got that,” said Klein. “After being a customer for a long time I got to know the business and the previous owner really well, and I’ve kept most everything exactly the same.”
Most of all, the clientele welcomed her and her success.
“This community is great,” said Klein. “Over the summer, the regulars keep us open, and the college kids are great when they come back. I’m just a people person, and I love to have people come in.”