‘It’s all about the people’: Local senior-run salon keeps doors open amid pandemic

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 7:10 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - “If you love what you do, you’ll never grow old” is an adage some local women are taking to heart.

Suburban Salon has been open for more than 60-years.

The women who keep it running are all seniors, many of whom are considered “high risk” during this pandemic.

A few extra COVID-19 precautions in place, and they were all willing and waiting to get back.

When WCTV asked them why, they said it’s all about the people and the families they’ve met along the way.

For more than 50 years, Annie Ford ford has worked at Suburban Salon, caring for clients and creating family.

“These girls are like my sisters. I don’t see them as coworkers, they’re like sisters to me,” Ford said.

But, at COVID-19′s peak, the next 50 years was not guarantee.

“My mother would have said the hardest challenge in business was when they widened Thomasville Road. And I’m really glad she isn’t here to have to live through this,” Ford added.

Terri Hartsfield owns the salon, which was passed down from her mother, who opened the business in 1958.

Despite COVID shut downs, and uncertain futures, they’re still styling.

She credits this to the friends they’ve made from behind the chairs.

“They have supported us financially, some spending money while we were closed, others just do phone calls saying ‘I can’t come back right now but we’re thinking of you,’ and the women she stands next to,” Hartsfield said.

Most of them are in their 60′s and 70′s, and despite being most at-risk to the virus, almost all of them couldn’t stay away..

“When we opened back up it made me happy, and I knew then I wasn’t retiring,” Ford explained.

A place like home, a comfort, is what clients like Liz Davis say is more valuable than ever,

“...and with the mask, you lose a lot of connection with people. But here, at least it’s like, because they’re doing your hair, you get the physical connection,” Davis said.

The small piece of Tallahassee history is still learning lessons for the future.

“The time we lost with the people who have not been able to come back, we can’t get that back,” Hartsfield said. “Cherish every minute with somebody. Because you don’t know when you’ll get to see them again.”

WCTV asked Ford for one word to describe the last fifty years here, and she just said “great.”

She said as long as she’s healthy, she’ll be here.

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