Plaza Hair Stylists closing after 33 yearsAfter more than three decades in the salon business, Plaza Hair Stylists has closed up shop.
By: Beth Koralia, for the Duluth Budgeteer News
After more than three decades in the salon business, Plaza Hair Stylists has closed up shop.
Lynn Levine, who started the shop when she was 25, said she decided to close after running the business for 33 years because a new owner purchased her building. In October, pharmacy giant CVS bought the property from Plaza Associates of Duluth LLP for $2,290,000.
“I was forced to move, after 33 years, by CVS pharmacy. Basically, because they didn't give me any money to move," Levine said of an offer by the pharmacy chain that she deemed not acceptable.
In an email from the company’s Rhode Island headquarters, CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis told the Budgeteer there were “numerous accommodations” made to Levine.
“After they rejected our lease buyout offer, we agreed to let them stay on-site until the end of March 2012, well beyond the 90-day notice as stipulated in their lease,” he wrote. “We also agreed to waive their rent for the last three months of their occupation. In addition, per Ms. Levine’s request, we are allowing one of her employees — who from our understanding is starting her own hair styling business — to remain in the space for an additional two weeks at no charge.”
The failure to reach an agreement aside, Levine said she briefly considered opening up a shop elsewhere but changed her mind. “There are so many different rules and changes. To build a salon like I have here would have been very costly and time-consuming.”
While she said she enjoyed owning her own business, “It’s very hard. Anybody who wants to open their own business must realize it is your whole life …. You work the most hours, you have to know how to do everything. I’m an accountant, I’m a maintenance man, I’m a psychologist, but in a business in which you work with people — it is so rewarding.”
Levine is selling part of her equipment to a friend who is opening a new salon and another part to the St. Francis in the Park nursing home in Superior.
Although Levine will no longer be running a salon, she will be renting a chair at Revelations on London Road. “Each salon has atmosphere. I felt like this is the place I should be. It’s like finding the right pair of shoes. I found the right salon. The girls are great there. I’ll be an independent contractor, so I’ll still be in charge of my life there. And I’m so happy because all of my clients are coming with me.”
Levine said she was at first distressed by the idea of closing. But now “It’s going to be a new change — one that I probably would not have picked.”
“The sad part is that the other two employees that have been here have had to change their lives. They are a little older, so it comes at a harder time,” said Levine. “We’re trying to go out happy.”
Hair styles have changed in the years Levine’s been in business. Her favorite era?
“Right now. Everybody wears hair that looks good on them. Before, during Farrah Fawcett years, you’d do 50 “Farrah Fawcetts” or the “Dorothy Hamill,” — whether it looked good on them or not. Now, everyone has something that looks a little different that fits them.”
The stories about working in a salon “could fill a book,” said Levine. For example, “The full moon makes a difference when working with the public. We’ve had people come in and say that they come in only during the full moon because they get a better cut. We’ve had people that come in every full moon and pick out a big stack of products. They say they are going to come back the next day, and they don’t. The next full moon, they come back and do the same thing.”
“It’s a wonderful business to be in. I still have a passion for it. Every day you come to work and you’re ready for something new.”