At my monthly hair-dresser appointment this morning, the atmosphere was teary. The shop owners, a husband and wife team who are gifted stylists, are having to close their shop. Their lease is up for renewal, their rent is sky high, and too many of their clients have lost jobs or lost income. Their phones don’t ring much any more, and it’s too risky to sign a new lease when their income is dwindling.
Their story is common today: they worked for many years at a popular upscale shop, and then three years ago opened their own place. It took a lot of courage to do that. It also took a lot of money to buy equipment and supplies. They did most of the build-out work themselves, painting walls, hanging mirrors and lights, and painting the concrete floor like a Jackson Pollock painting that they then sealed. They hung art work. They got a snazzy neon sign. After they opened, they came early every morning to clean and organize, and they stayed late to launder towels and smocks. They put their hearts into turning that shop into a cheery, smart, inviting place, and clients who knew how hard they worked were happy for their success.
They’re not closing because they failed. They’re closing because of greed and arrogance of people they’ve never even met. It’s the “trickle down” theory in action. Powerful people who were insulated by personal and corporate wealth played with real money as if it were Monopoly dollars, and their catastrophic losses have trickled down to real people. The players aren’t suffering. Their jobs are secure and they got new money to play with. But if there is any justice in the world, all those who are responsible for my hairdressers having to close their salon will wake up hairless tomorrow. Or at least have bad hair for the rest of their lives.