I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you guys how much change Peabody’s has gone through over
the last couple of years, or even the last couple of weeks. You’ve seen the emails, the
appointment cancellations, the new storefront. It’s just been announcement after announcement
from us, hasn’t it?
And while change is good, it certainly hasn’t been easy.
With all of the ups and downs we’ve put you guys through as our clients, I want to take a
moment to share with you guys what it’s looked like for us. And since its my top priority to be
really fucking transparent with you, here it is: this past July, I almost closed Peabody’ Parlor.
To Be or Not To Be
If I thought the pandemic was hard for our industry, I had no idea how hard post-pandemic salon
life would be. I know that we’re not the only ones facing the challenges, and I’ve personally
spoken with several other salon owners who are going through it. But knowing that the whole
industry is suffering doesn’t make it any easier.
I know myself to be a good businesswoman and I was ready to claw my way over the
roadblocks we were going to face after the pandemic. But it felt like no matter how hard we
tried, the obstacles kept popping up. No matter how good at my job I am and how good my
credit is, I couldn’t get a bank to approve a business loan to help us through the pandemic
rebuild. No matter how amazing and hardworking our leadership team was, we couldn’t take on
more business if we kept losing stylists. Time and time again, we tried to roll with the punches
and make a shift to come out on top, and every time our plans were derailed.
As my birthday approached and I left for vacation, I found myself thinking about what I really
want out of my career. At forty years old, did I want to keep doing this? Was I crazy for doing
this? Was it stupid to continually try to keep going when everything was getting in the way? It
was starting to seem like the universe was telling me to say goodbye to the salon. I would keep
the Emporium open, and I could turn the salon into a yoga studio to continue providing
sustainable, queer friendly wellness.
By the end of my trip, I’d all but made the decision – but I couldn’t stop thinking about one
particular day in the salon. It was a few days before I left, and I was working like hell with our
apprentice-stylist Emma on salon training. It was the first time in two years that I’d felt at ease in
the salon. It was pure magic, and I couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t. It would be easier to close the
salon and start a new business alongside the Emporium. It would be infinitely less stressful, and
it would arguably be the safer option. But no matter how many times I said it out loud, I knew in
my heart that I didn’t want to do it. The magic of the salon was still there and the team was still
standing alongside me, and I knew it was what I still wanted. It’s not going to get any easier, but
it’s what we came here to do.
Making A(nother) Change
So, what now?
We’re still a small team, and with Brandon out on medical leave, Kylie can’t do it all on her own
(no matter how valiantly she tries). We’d talked in the past about accelerating the apprentice
program, and after seeing the progress we made when I worked with Emma before my
vacation, I thought, why not do it now? After all, without our apprentices, there is no Peabody’s
Parlor. These ladies are fully licensed and fully awesome, and they’re ready to hit the ground
running. So, that’s what we’re doing.
The apprentices will still participate in weekly training to continue moving forward in their salon
education, and their hands-on experience isn’t changing all that much – but it is being fast
tracked, and it’s all being supervised by yours truly. I’ll be right there to assist with the process
as they continue to grow in technique and skill, and we’ll continue setting them up to be style
There are still a lot of changes to make – we are still hiring for a sales floor associate to help us
run the Emporium while I work with the apprentices during salon hours. We’re still hiring
experienced stylists to join our squad and share their knowledge with us and all of you. But I
want you to know that, despite it all, we’re still here. Things look different (like, a lot different),
but we’re not giving up. This is what we came here to do, so let’s fucking do it.