For the first time in the 20 years she has operated the B-Vogue Salon and Gallery, 11100 E, Winner Road in the Englewood art district, owner Tammy Parsons has locked her front door.
It is just another example of the coronavirus taking a toll on businesses across the metro area.
A sign on the door lets customers know they must have an appointment if they are going to get their hair cut, dyed or permed. Someone who needs a product must call in advance, and it will be ready when they arrive.
“I opened my first B-Vogue at 105th and Blue Ridge in 1991,” Parsons said, “and next month, we celebrate our 20th year at this location. Who would have ever thought we’d be dealing with something like the coronavirus on our 20th anniversary.”
“But we’re here for our guests, and we’re going to be here as long as the government allows our doors to be open.”
In fact, late Friday, after Parsons was contacted for this story, Independence Mayor Eileen Weir announced that she’s banning “body care services” effective Monday. That takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday and covers “hair salons, nail salons, barbers, tattoo and piercing services, and massage providers” but not health-care services such as physical therapy. Those businesses can continue to sell products.
B-Vogue has a colorful, warm, friendly atmosphere, but there have been changes.
An industrial size bottle of germX hand sanitizer sits on a table inside the front door. All products are sanitized before they are sold to a customer, and there are no newspapers, magazines or beverages inside the salon.
“It is always our intention to do everything we can to preserve the health and safety of our team, our guests and our world,” Parsons said.
“As a sanctuary for both guests and team members alike, we decided to remain open. Of course, this could change in a heartbeat in the current climate. We will of course continue to practice the highest standards for sanitation and cleanliness at B-Vogue.”
No one appreciates this more than stylist Thad McCullough, whose partner’s lungs work at 60 percent capacity.
“Here I am, interacting with guests all day,” McCullough said, “so when I get home, we have a mud room. I take off my work clothes and change into new clothes before I see him. We have to do everything to keep our loved ones safe.”
Parsons says those guests who are at highest risk deal with hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases, like asthma.
“This has hit us, it’s hit us hard,” Parsons added. “We’re down about 50 percent, but we want to be here for our guests. We know this is a place where they feel safe, and we are doing everything we can to make them feel safe.
“We’re all going to struggle until this crisis is over, but we are going to do our best to maintain a positive approach and treat our guests here in Englewood the way we have the past 20 years.”