“We essentially closed because we used all the operating capital we had available,” said Jonathan Carver, who owned the Clarendon blow dry bar for the past two years, and closed it on Aug. 2.
Carver said the salon simply had more more costs — including the high rent in a prime shopping area — than it had revenue from the blowouts. The salon scraped by before COVID-19, but could not recover with the slow reopening rate mandated by the state, he said.
“There’s only so much people are willing to pay for wash, dry and style. It was a very simple service. You can’t charge $300 for that. I think it would have done better in a cheaper location,” said Carver. “I had really good employees and most of them were loyal. There was no way I was going to be able to pay them well and pay the rent.”
Kaleemah Woodward, a Cherry employee since the Clarendon location opened in 2014, says she has been dealing with confused and disappointed clients in the wake of the closure.
“People had over 40 blow dries left on their account and have no way to get that money back,” Woodward said. “I have the frustration of not having answers for them.”
Cherry charged $150 for four monthly blow dries. She said people were desperate to get the money refunded but have had no luck. That’s because there is simply no money to pay customers back, Carver said.
“If [customers] tried to get money out of the franchise, they could force it into bankruptcy, but it would cost more in legal fees because the franchise has no money,” he said.
Woodward said Cherry Blow Dry’s corporate office owns the lease until 2025, but is looking to sell to a local business owner.
Patrons aren’t the only ones out of luck — the employees are also in a tricky situation, as many don’t have cosmetology licenses, according to Woodward.
In 2018, Gov. Ralph Northam passed a law in Virginia allowing unlicensed stylists to work at salons as long as they didn’t permanently alter hair. That’s fine for blow dries, but not for more involved services, which means that many Cherry employees either have to get their cosmetology licenses or are faced with limited work opportunities.
Woodward is now freelancing and taking donations as she works to earn her cosmetology license. She aims to set up a studio in her apartment, offering the same deal Cherry did: $150 for four blowouts a month.
The closure also cuts deep for the stylist and for loyal customers.
“A piece of my identity is kind of gone,” she said.
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St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.
Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.
We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.
For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.
If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.
Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.
The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom:
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