It’s been a long eight months for Salon Image, displaced by last fall’s Depot Street factory fire.
Now the business has settled into a new home at 225 Kelly St. thanks to a rental agreement with Wellington Builders.
Doors were opened for haircuts and tanning June 6 after the business moved from a temporary space on Depot Street that it had used since the blaze.
Co-owner Melanie O’Neal said it feels good to put months of doubt and anxiety behind.
“We thought all of this would take three months, but it took eight,” she said. “Wellington Builders is a customer of our State Farm insurance agent, so they got talking about us needing a place to work at. They had been thinking of fixing up this building for a long time. Eventually, we talked to them directly and everything got moving along. It was being used for storage and used to be a train depot.”
After the fire, Salon Image temporarily moved into a space formerly occupied by Hawleywood Salon, the former owners of which agreed to pay an extra month’s rent to give Salon Image a bit of comfort in the midst of chaos.
Salon equipment including chairs and nail desks were donated for the temporary space by Tangles and Tans of Spencer, but the permanent location is now filled with brand new gear.
“Those donations allowed us to take our time picking out new equipment,” said O’Neal. “Now, we were able to take all that stuff back to (Tangles and Tans) and say thank you. We had to go through a list a mile long to write down every little thing we were missing after the fire. Brooms, dustpans, and every single little thing you can think of burnt or melted.”
She and fellow owners Jamie Lynn Leiby and Tina Norton have owned Salon Image for nearly 13 years.
Through two moves, they’ve managed to hang on to roughly 500 regular clients.
“This new place is more us than where we were at before — not that we weren’t grateful for it,” said Leiby. “We love this spot, and there’s parts of all this that ended up having a silver lining.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.