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Spokane hair salons prepare to open during phase two

Alexander York Hair Salon and Barbershop cleaned their shop, removed magazines and came up with a business plan to open when phase two starts.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Walk in, sit down, flip through a magazine, admire decorations and chat with others while waiting for your turn to meet with a stylist. That's what most customers experience when at Alexander York Hair Salon and Barbershop.

The shop located on Monroe Street is normally decorated in a different theme every month, welcoming its customers inside. But the place has been empty since the stay at home order started.

Owner and landlord Chere Perrieo says its been a surreal feeling, because she's been cutting hair her whole life.

"My dad was a barber for 56 years, so I grew up with it," Perrieo said.

After decades of cutting hair professionally, Perrieo passed the passion on to her son. So being closed for the past two months has been hard for her family.

Perrieo said the change effected her son the most, because his barber stand is his main source of income.

He and the other stylists that cut hair at Alexander York are their own business entities that rent work spaces from Perrieo. Her salon is already set up with enough distance between stations to follow social distancing rules, but other salons are not as lucky.

"If each location, if each space is business owned, you don't really have the right as a landlord to say 'Oh we're just going to take that station out.' Because that takes the livelihood away from somebody that may need to work," Perrieo said.

Even though she does not have to rearrange her chairs, there are things that will be different when they open up.

Perrieo has stripped the salon of any magazines and decorations. Clients will have to wait in their cars for their appointments to start, they will book less people, and employees will be taking extra sanitation precautions.

Despite the changes, Perrieo said all of the stylists at Alexander York are ready to get back to work. And their clients are excited to have them open again.

"They're like 'the minute -- the minute your books are available we want to be on it,'" Perrieo said.

In order to deal with the virtual line of people waiting to get their hair cut, Perrieo is planning on scheduling people whose appointments were cancelled by COVID-19 first. From there, it will be first come first serve.

"We'll be working longer hours to get less people than we would normally get in," Perrieo said.

She said that will be a frustrating process, but she is just glad to be back to doing what she loves.

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