It is not uncommon in the world of publishing to repeat certain themes year to year. We cover spring trends in March, fall in September. Makes sense. But I hope to never again need to dedicate my November column to domestic violence and salon tragedy, because this subject makes no sense.
One year ago, we spoke about how our industry and its caring community of beauty professionals reacted to a mass shooting on October 12 at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, California. This year, we’ve had to absorb the sad news of two deadly acts of violence in salons.
On October 18, a gunman stormed into Las Dominicanas M & M Salon in Casselberry, Florida, near Orlando. He fatally shot three women and injured a fourth, who was the salon manager and his ex-girlfriend, who had filed a restraining order against him. He later killed himself.
Three days later in Wisconsin, the estranged husband of an employee of Azana salon and spa in the affluent Brookfield suburb of Milwaukee, came into the spa, ordered people on the ground and began shooting. Three women were killed, four were injured, and the police found the shooter, who’d killed himself, in a treatment room.
While such horrible acts can occur in any work environment, the beauty industry has been especially hard hit. For Jan Seybold, who owns Carenza Color Cutting Experience salon literally across the street from Azana, the tragedy hits close to home. “This could have been any of our salons or spas,” she says. “As I talk to others in the salon community today, everyone wants to know what they can do to help.”
Seybold has reached out to nearby owners Kitty Tierney, of Impressions in Mequon, and Dawn Panfill, of Hair and Body Solutions, in New Berlin, to organize a purple ribbon campaign to raise funds for the victims of the Azana shooting. The local owners also have begun to discuss who has open space they could donate rent-free to keep the spa’s employees working while the spa is closed. And, they’ve ordered information packets from the Professional Beauty Association’s Cut it Out program to help train the staff members and others about the recognizing the signs of domestic abuse.
Seybold invites ideas for helping Azana from anyone in the professional salon and spa community (firstname.lastname@example.org.), and it is no surprise that she and others in the professional beauty world are reaching out to help the colleagues, clients and families affected by these tragic events. Watch modernsalon.com, salontoday.com and facebook.com/modernsalon for updates, comments and more ideas on what can be done to help keep our salon businesses, stylists and clients safer. Also, take the simple step to visit probeauty. org/cutitout to learn more about free materials salons can use to give hope and help to clients and co-workers in abusive relationships.