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Megan Happ: glad to be back in her corner salon

By Tony Hooker
Megan Happ thought she had seen it all in a fourteen-year career as a stylist and cosmetologist.  

2020 proved that to paraphrase Bachman Turner Overdrive, she aint seen nothing yet. 

I recently sat down with the owner of Megan’s Corner Salon, to talk about being closed, reopening and a lot more.

What was it like?  What was the first thing that went through your head when you learned that you would have to shut down?

What am I going to do for money?  How do I file for unemployment?  That was really a mess to deal with. I still don’t know if I’ll ever get the back pay from the weeks before I could file.  So it was a little scary at first, but I have some really great clients that gave me extra on the last couple days.  People have given me money even though I wasn’t able to do their hair.  People have been extremely supportive.

Let’s start at the beginning. How long have you been in your current location at Main and Madison in VG?

I’ve been in this location for five years.  I’ve been in town since December of 2010.  

How long have you been in the industry?  

For about fourteen years now.

We talked once before that you can do nails and all sorts of procedures, right?

I can, but I’ve chosen to focus on hair.

I can’t imagine anything that can come close to this for you, right?

Not really, other than if I were to be fired for some reason.  That’s kind of what it felt like.

When were you able to reopen?

My first day back was May twenty-ninth.  I did sort of a soft opening the first few days to see how things would go.  I wanted to see if there was anything that I needed to change.  

And then after that?

We’ve just been full speed ahead, seeing as many clients as I can.  I have to allow fifteen minutes between clients to clean and disinfect.  Of course, everyone has to wear a mask and that’s been a learning process. 

How has this changed the way you do things?

In addition to the time between clients, I’m learning to work around someone having a mask on.  I’m learning how to get it away from their ears.  Other than that, nothing’s really changed, it’s just a lot of extra time and I can’t work someone in when I have a color processing. 

It beats what it’s been for the last few months, right?

<smiles> It’s good to be back!

What have your clients been saying? Are they excited to be back?

For the most part, yeah.  It’s been an adjustment for them as well. A lot of people don’t like using the masks, but there’s a reason.  I’m basically in your face.  We’re so close.

I’m sure they’re glad to be getting their hair done though, right?

Oh yes!  Everyone’s hair has gotten really long.  

Is there anything from this whole ordeal that you might use in the future?

Honestly, I think the masks might help us in preventing flu, when it’s flu season.  Is that something that I want to do in the future?  No, but it might be something to consider when there’s a bad flu going around. I was always clean before, but now it’s just a little extra.  

You were saying that your clients have been so supportive and loyal.  That’s got to make you feel like you’re doing a good job, right?

I hope so! 

Has anyone refused to wear the mask and just left?

No one has left.  I’ve had some people who didn’t really like it, but I don’t think anyone’s going to turn around and say forget it. They want their hair done! <laughs>

How many appointments are you doing per day?

It just depends.  Usually no more than ten cuts per day.  I have to provide a fresh cape for every client.  Color takes a little longer, so some days I might only have four or five clients if I’m doing chemical services.

Still, ten cuts are a long time on your feet, and a long time with that mask on, right?

Yeah, you know. <smiles> It doesn’t really bother me too much.  I know some people don’t like it, but I’m just kind of used to it now.  

Is there anything you would like to add?

I would like to thank my landlord, Mr. Mark King.  He hasn’t charged me rent while I was closed. I’m very thankful for my clients for being so supportive and wanting to keep me here. They care about me and my business.

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