MIAMI COUNTY — With last week’s news of shuttering hair salons and tattoo parlors, one local business owner has challenged others in the industry to give back to those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lindsay Scalice Taylor, co-owner of the Oak and Arrow Beauty Room in Troy, said while closing the doors to the salon she opened last October was difficult, the health and safety of her colleagues, customers and family came first.
It was last Thursday, a full day of what was to be full of appointments, Taylor said she watched the news reports of hospital shortages of medical grade gloves and masks. The state of Ohio’s board of cosmetology requires all stylists to wear gloves for chemical and color treatments and tattoo artists to wear gloves as well.
Taylor then looked up on the state board’s website and saw that Miami County has 101 state-licensed salons and barber shops. It was then she thought of challenging those in her industry to pay it forward.
“That’s a lot of people with a lot of gloves that can benefit while I sit at home with my family and they are out there helping people,” she said. “See a need, fill a need.”
Taylor said she has seven unopened boxes with 100 gloves each and knows she’ll have plenty to get her through when the doors of her salon open.
“It’s all just sitting there and there’s a need, so I challenge anyone that has them to get a hold of first responders or fire stations and help out,” she said.
Taylor said she knows her customers are loyal and will be lined up out the door once the state lifts the order and she can get back behind the chair.
“It’ll be like Black Friday at Best Buy,” she said.
Troy City Fire Department Chief Matt Simmons said all donations from the community can be dropped off at Station No. 1 on Race Street in downtown Troy. Simmons said the department has supplies, including passing out masks to deputies and police officers.
“We’ll take anything supply wise … every little bit helps,” Simmons said. Simmons said medics are taking precautions transporting patients to hospitals, placing masks on patients and themselves.
“It’s a prayer I pray every day,” Simmons said, on keeping the department personnel safe and that the community spread gets under control.
Simmons said the department has supplies for a least a month, unless cases increase. Those with supplies can also contact their local fire departments to donate as well.
Local career centers also donated their materials since classes have been postponed. Miami Valley Career Technical Center donated supplies to its local emergency management agencies in each county it services, according to its social media post last Saturday.
MVCTC Superintendent Dr. Nick Weldy said, “MVCTC has answered the call from our local counties to help provide medical and cleaning supplies. We have been dropping these items off to our local emergency management agencies in each county over the past few days. These supplies are coming from our warehouse stock and were surplus items that we had available. So far, we have been able to donate N-95 masks, sterile and non-sterile non-latex gloves, alcohol swabs, thermometers, Lysol, cleaning fluids and various other items. Our partners at the EMAs have been extremely thankful for our efforts.”
Upper Valley Career Center also donated personal protective equipment to Upper Valley Medical Center last week. Supplies were donated from its medical career and veterinary science departments.
Last Wednesday evening, the last two stylists in the Oak and Arrow Beauty Room salon were wrapping up their last clients as the closures of barber shops and beauty salons went in effect.
Claudia Kushinski, 27, of Troy, was finishing up Robert Poeppelman’s haircut — a least for a little while.
“We were slammed at the end of the day, “Kushinski said. “We were expecting this. With everything being closed down, we knew salons would be next. People will still need their hair cut, when that will be, who knows.”
Stylist Madison Roller, 21, of Tipp City, said the unknown timeline of it all is “the scary part.”
“We just don’t know how long it will be,” Roller said.
Yet, Kushinski and Roller took the news in stride, while Poeppelman had his hair cut “a littler shorter, just in case.”
“After a few weeks off work, we’ll be read to get back in here to work,” Roller said.
“Our clients are loyal — they’ll all be ready to come back,” Kushinski said.