ONE THING I’VE LEARNED in covering this industry the past 17 years is you all love to share. I never have a problem calling an owner and soliciting a quote. In fact, several times a year, I will e-mail a group of SALON TODAY readers to poll them on a story idea. You always respond in kind with an abundance of great comments, observations and opinions.
One day after the ex-spouse of a stylist opened fire at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, California, killing eight people, I found myself e-mailing a somber message to readers, inviting them to share their ideas of how to put this terrible tragedy into perspective. I didn’t hear anything for almost 24 hours. In the first messages that trickled in, readers thanked me for my concern, but stated they simply didn’t know what to say. Others expressed anger, frustration and disgust at the situation, but had no real thoughts on what to do about it.
While this act would have been tragic at any worksite, the common theme throughout many of the e-mails I received was the fact that it happened at a salon was inconceivable. For many clients, crossing the threshold of a salon is entering a sanctuary. It’s a place where they are encouraged to focus on themselves, de-stress from a busy workweek, and to let down their hair, so to speak. It’s a place where it really is OK to don a not-so-figure-flattering cape and let someone put reams of foil in your hair. It’s a place where people accept you for who you are, and help you be your best.
About a week after my initial e-mail, readers finally found their voice, sending me multiple comments for the story. In addition, about 1,500 readers shared the link of the resulting article through Facebook or via e-mail. While I’d encourage you to visit salontoday.com to read all the comments and add one of your own, I want to leave you with one inspiring thought from Ginny Eramo, owner of Interlocks Salon Spa in Newburyport, Massachusetts:
“I cannot tell you how saddened I am to read of this horrific tragedy in Seal Beach. I just returned to the salon from an annual event, ‘The Walk Against Violence,’ which builds awareness of domestic violence and raises funds for our local crisis center. Twelve years ago, Interlocks Salon became a champion of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, a local center which provides services to more than 3,000 women and children annually who are victims of domestic violence. My salon resides in an educated, affluent community, but domestic violence knows no socio-economic boundaries, nor is it specific to ‘typical’ victims—sadly, it affects 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 2 teenage girls. Our salon industry can play a valuable role in recognizing the signs of an abusive relationship, and offering information on receiving help. In our salon, we do this by displaying various types of information in discreet locations, such as our salon bathrooms and dressing rooms. Great information is available through the national organization ‘Cut It Out,’ for salon professions. (Go to cutitout.org.) As a united industry, we do have the ability to make a difference.”
I encourage you to share how you are making a difference in your salon, by dropping me an email, posting a comment of Facebook or sharing a video through our new YouShare program on modernsalon.tv.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.