Thursday, December 23, 2010
Stylists say goodbye
By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
An era came to a close Friday when four long-time stylists locked the doors and departed Unique Beauty Salon, 310 W. Garfield St.
Tuesday morning, the doors opened under the ownership of Charity Jones, who recently purchased the business from Phyllis Goodell.
Goodell, Stonna Raney, Vanessa Michaels and Cheryl Heffernon — the collective that made up Unique — decided to retire recently.
Fate brought Jones into the picture.
All the women’s lives, in some way, overlap.
Jones had lately been an independent trucker, along with her husband, Kelly Jones. Recent engine problems and a phone call from her father-in-law, Roger Jones, led to the sudden career change.
“The day my motor blew my father-in-law called and said ‘I know you want to start your own salon. There’s an ad in the paper. You should check it out.’”
Jones, a 2006 graduate of the Fort Scott Cosmetology School, inquired into the ad selling salon equipment. A familiar voice answered the phone.
“Phyllis answered. I knew right away it was Phyllis Goodell,” Jones said.
“Phyllis has known me since I could walk,” Jones explained. “I worked for her taking care of her cats when I was in high school.”
One thing led to another and Jones ended up buying the entire business — not just equipment — from Goodell.
Hours at Unique Salon will be Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. through afternoon, Jones said. Evening appointments can be made as well. The phone number will remain 365-5711.
As for the retiring “girls,” as they call each other, “I will miss the ladies terribly bad,” Goodell said. “But it’s time for a younger person behind this chair,” she said.
Heffernon concurred. “We’ve all got some health issues. For me, it’s my back. Standing up all day gets hard on the hips,” she said. Heffernon intends to do some traveling, especially to Colorado, where she is from and still has family.
Raney hopes to do some traveling, too, she said.
All three have been doing hair for most of the past five decades.
“Stonna and I started together 45 years ago,” Goodell said. Raney began doing hair 47 years ago, she said. Soon thereafter, she said, “I started a professional salon.” Goodell, she said, “was my faithful employee.”
Then Raney moved to Washington state for a while. “When I moved back, she hired me.”
Four years ago, the women, along with Michaels, were based on the Iola square, at the corner of Washington and Jackson streets.
“Iola Office Supply wanted to expand,” Raney said, “So we needed to move.”
Following a rumor, they sought out Heffernon.
“I was in here doing my nails,” Heffernon said, “They came in and said ‘I hear you want to retire.’ I said ‘No. But tell me what’s happening.’ They told me their story and I said, ‘If you need to move, just bring your ladies and come on out.’ I had stations available. They moved in.”
Heffernon went home and told her husband of the odd occurrence. He told her she should consider selling.
So, “They moved in and bought it right away,” Heffernon said — with one caveat. Heffernon said, “I’ll sell it to you if I can stay.”
Ands so the trio became a foursome.
All the women have grown close.
“That’s going to be the hard part — not being around each other and sharing the ups and downs the woes and joys of life,” Heffernon said. “I’ll miss all the ladies and,” — after 47 years on the job — “I’ll miss coming to work,” she said.
“I’ll miss all my wonderful clients,” added Stonna. “I’ll shed a lot of tears.”
Of the four, Michaels, at 51, is the youngest retiree. A recent grandmother with another grandchild on the way, she’s looking forward to spending more time with them. “I’m excited,” she said. Still, she noted, “I’ve been with these girls 10 years. The camaraderie is what I’ll miss most. That and the ladies — we have a lot of older clients and you get attached.”
“We’ve had a lot of fun in here,” Heffernon noted.
The women do intend to stay in touch.
“We’ll probably get together and take trips to Kansas City, go to lunch,” Heffernon said. “The nice thing is, we’re all compatible.”