Local salons breathing easier now
that restrictions are being relaxed
By Doug Lowe
While national news media are reporting cases of beauticians and their customers infecting each other with the new coronavirus, the reports from local area beauty salons are much more positive.
“I feel blessed,” says Janet Garbe, the owner of Janet Garbe’s Salon of Beauty in Gunnison. “We are a very small shop. Only two of us taking turns working here, so we never felt the need to be close. We’ve just been very choosy about accepting appointments. Not accept any new, unknown clients. And, lots of our older clients were staying home, not calling us anyway.”
Similar comments were made by Angela Mitchell, who styles hair in the basement of her Fountain Green home. “I am the only one working here, and I never felt the need to close. I only have one client come at a time. And, most clients simply stopped calling. Now days, I wear a mask and ask my clients to do that also. And, I’m cleaning like crazy. Using lots of Lysol on everything the client has touched, where they’re sat, and all that. Also, I’m continuing to spraying my tools with bactericide as required by the state.”
Corey Gonzales, at Corey’s Cuts in Ephraim, also did not shut down his shop—even at the height of the virus pandemic. “After all, it is just me, or me and my client in the shop at any time,” he said. “No one else is here.” As Corey understood the rules announced by the governor, health dept., and county commissioners, he wasn’t required to close. “But, at first I had around a third of my appointments cancel,” he says. His business he has been operating in its current location for nearly nine years now during a career that has spanned 30 years.
Another Ephraim beauty salon, where Corey once worked, the Sharp Image, has long been run by Darren Pili. During a career spanning 35 years, Pili had seen almost everything—except the coronavirus shutdown. And, shutting down his shop is exactly what Pili chose to do. After closing for some two and a half months, Pili discovered “reopening has been hard.” One of the major difficulties, voiced by him as well as every other hair cutter interviewed for this article, concerns all the extra cleaning and sanitizing they now must do. “It is worse that cleaning up to get rid of head lice after every client,” reports Pili.
Sindi Johnson, at Sindi’s Salon in Mt. Pleasant, reopened her shop about a month ago. She sometimes jokes, “We are sanitizing and cleaning constantly. So, I’m sure we have the shiniest, most sterile door knob in the whole town—if not the entire county.” In a more serious vein, Johnson reports that she now has to space out appoints, rather than crowding together as in the past. As a result, she is “working more hours without making more money.”
In Manti, business at Shades Salon is starting to pick up now that people are starting to feel more comfortable going out for personal business such as haircuts.
“We really want to thank all our customers who continue to support us through these hard times,” said Shades stylist Meagan Johnson.