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Back behind the chair

Tina Poland is glad to be serving her salon clients again

Tina Poland

Editor’s Note: The following

article is part of a continuing

series on how Webster City area

businesses are faring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A big city vibe with small town beliefs — that’s always been the vision that Tina Poland has had for Salon Meraki, the business she owns and operates at 714 Willson Avenue in Webster City. She’s been successful too, and now that she’s reopened following a two-month hiatus due to the novel coronavirus, she’s finding her clients are coming back in droves.

Admittedly a workaholic at times, Poland says her schedule book is completely full for the month of June and she’s looking to hire — a welcome fact in an environment when so many individuals have been forced out of work since the pandemic hit in mid-March.

“I am desperately looking for two stylists,” Poland said. “I think I have a lot to offer in my salon and I’m looking for two stylists to get us through this time.”

Offering a range of services that includes haircuts, colors and highlights, hair treatments, eyelash extensions, special event styling and facial waxing, Salon Meraki has been a fixture in the community for a number of years. Poland has been a hair stylist for 27 years and a business owner for close to a decade.

Last October, Poland bought a separate building and renovated it to offer additional services to the community. She rents out space for two businesses — Beauty by Chelsea Marie and Pure Healing Massage Therapy run by Kortney Keane — but the new venture came with a cost once the pandemic hit and shuttered the doors to her salon and new building.

“Those first two weeks (of closure in March) were very scary,” Poland said. “We got that new building open the first of March and I did not take out a loan for that building. I emptied my bank account into that building, so I was very scared. And because we’d just opened it, I did not charge rent at the new building during this, so I was coming up with the money for utilities.”

Poland says that’s when the city stepped up and helped to ease her tension.

“The city’s forgiveness loan I got was what truly saved my butt,” she said.

Poland was able to reopen the doors to Salon Meraki in late May, and she says she’s still trying to find her new normal. On one hand, she wants to be able to attend to all of her client’s needs, but she also admits that past health scares have made her realize that she also needs to tend to her own well being.

“I have a heart condition and my line has been that the only way I slow down is when the whole world has to,” Poland said. “There were times when I was working 16 to 17 house a day by myself and I have a tendency to fall into that again. But I promised my family that I wouldn’t do that.”

The rub is that Poland loves what she does for a living.

“I could not wait to get back behind the chair,” she said.

Poland says she’s also enacted new protocols to keep her clients at ease while in her salon. Clients are asked to wear masks when they enter her business and temperatures are taken prior to a scheduled appointment. Poland says she’ll wear a mask or face shield, as well as gloves if her clients prefer. She’s also increased her sanitation practices.

“There have been a few changes and we’re definitely sanitizing more,” she said. “But we were already following the Department of Health protocols … if you’re doing what a salon is supposed to do, you’re doing 90 percent of it already.”

Come July 1, Poland says official salon hours will run four days per week — Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon; Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Poland says she will continue to extend her Saturday hours if needed by the clients.

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