Experience is important for a lot of businesses. People are more likely to trust an experienced mechanic when they need their car fixed, or an experienced doctor when they are having health problems.
When it comes to picking hairdressers, experience is equally as important. Thanks to COVID-19, patrons at Tangles Salon and Spa in Hutchinson know they are benefitting from more than 246 years of combined knowledge.
Six seasoned hairdressers work in the cozy salon on Second Avenue Southeast, each with decades of experience under their aprons: Bev Czmowski, 50 years; Val Severson, 34 years; Deborah Heilman, 50 years; Beth Fruetel, 32 years; Chris Carrigan, 31 years; and Debi Decker, 47 years.
While they’ve all worked with each other at one time or another, especially at Barberettes on State Highway 7, this is the first time all six have been under one roof, and it’s all because of the pandemic.
Following the closure of Barberettes in February, Fruetel and Heilman began working at the salon at Ecumen Oaks and Pines. After just a few days, though, they were no longer allowed back in the assisted living facility as the state began to go into lockdown. That’s when they made a call to Severson, the owner of Tangles.
“I knew them and I had room for it, so I said fine,” Severson said. “I thought they were going to be here temporarily, but now it’s a little more than temporarily. But they can be here as long as they have to.”
The two new additions also thought the change would only be temporary.
“I thought a month at the most, or a couple weeks,” Heilman said.
But as the pandemic has worn on and Ecumen Oaks and Pines still has not reopened its salon to the public, the pair are grateful for Tangles, as are their customers.
“They were appreciative to be wherever we were, as long as they could be somewhere,” Fruetel said.
The addition of two new hairdressers has been an easy transition for the group that was already there as well.
“We all just get along great,” Severson said. “There are never any issues. I think it’s unbelievable how well we get along.”
“Everything is just into a routine,” Decker said. “They have their clients, everybody shares together, they share knowledge, they share space, we work together as a team.”
That shared knowledge and experience is also a great benefit for the hairdressers, as well as their clients. Not only are they able to ask each other questions, they’re also able to share clients with each other if someone is not available.
“I think it’s more comfortable because you can ask some questions,” Carrigan said, “or people take different classes, especially with the different generations, I think it’s nice you have everybody and different experiences to ask questions.”
And when it comes to cleanliness and following state restrictions, the women at Tangles say their clients have been very understanding about having to wear masks. As far as social distancing and cleaning goes, the salon is spacious enough to allow several of the hairdressers and their clients in the building at one time, and the adjustment hasn’t been too difficult.
“We go over the rules pretty good,” Czmowski said. “Our sanitation hasn’t change a whole lot, because actually hairdressers do it anyway. Just a couple things have changed, and it’s not been a big deal.”