When Hair Cuttery closes,
employee launches new salon in same space

By Melissa James, York County Contributor


For 12 years, Lindsay Yi had cut and styled hair at the same salon in Washington Square Shopping Center. She’d accumulated a loyal following of customers, watching many grow up from their first haircut. But when the pandemic began, everything changed.

By late March 2020, the national Hair Cuttery chain announced it was closing more than 80 locations—including the one where Lindsay worked. She suddenly was unemployed.

“I found myself in a position where I had to decide what to do next,” she said. “I have wonderful clientele I love very much, and the shop was already here, so I just went for it.”

To start her own salon, she first approached property manager Neal Sadler. They faced an uphill battle, since everything from business loans to permits were hard to obtain with COVID-19 going on. It ultimately took 6 months to open. But Lindsay said luckily, she was able to still help support her family—a husband and four sons, ages 1 to 16—through unemployment and the CARES Act.

She named the salon Blend, she said, because “everything you do in hair requires blending—haircuts, color, etc, Also the blend of mom, dad and kids,” since the salon offers services for all ages. But to be successful, she needed more than a location and name. She needed customers.

“When you stop working for Hair Cuttery, you’re not allowed to contact any of their customers. So I had to start from scratch,” she said. “I created a Facebook page, hoping someone would look for me. They found me and started coming back. I was very surprised at the support from the community and my clients. I’ve been averaging about 70 people a month, which I think is amazing.”

“There’s not been a downside, except that it’s sad to see the [shopping center] parking lot so empty all the time, when it used to be people moving around, families everywhere. Now it’s like a ghost town.”

The staff is just Lindsay right now, but at the rate Blend is growing, it won’t be long until she takes on employees.

“Last year I was not contemplating at all opening my own business,” she said, “but the circumstances made me feel brave enough to try it. I stepped outside my comfort zone, and I’m really happy that I did it.”