Even with an abrupt, total halt spurred by the COVID-19 outbreak this spring, business, in the long run, has been outstanding at “that turquoise place” in Marmet.
Savvy Shears owner and licensed cosmetologist Tina Westfall is about to mark a business milestone, in fact, as her Marmet salon observes its fifth anniversary on July 1.
She’s built the business steadily and successfully over the past 60 months, riding out the recent (and ever-fluid) COVID-19 social distancing restrictions and growing far beyond her initial dreams.
“I came here from Kanawha City where I’d been doing hair for a good while,” she said. “When that salon phased out, I was looking for a place to rent. I found this building here. It had potential.”
Approximately two-and-a-half years after opening at the MacCorkle Avenue site, she purchased and remodeled the adjacent building, adding work stations and stylists to meet demand.
“I just said, ‘We need the whole building.’ And now we’ve got the whole parking lot. At that point, we were turning people away, so we took the other side of the building,” Westfall said.
“Since coming here, we’ve really grown. I’ve added seven employees since I started. I wasn’t expecting it to be more than another person and me, but we have seven people and we’re sustaining now.”
Westfall’s fellow stylists and specialists at Savvy Shears include Haylee George, Jennifer Tincher, Linda Sprouse, Shelley Hudson, Krista Haas, and Hannah Pullen.
“Each of us kind of has our own thing that we’re better at,” Westfall said. “There are certain things that I do, such as Helix haircuts and Keratin smoothing treatments. Jenny does good color, and she is wonderful with kids. I don’t know how she gets them to behave, but they’re just mesmerized by Jenny. And she’s a lot faster than I am.
“Shelley does really fabulous highlights and color. Hannah just got out of school, and that girl can do hair color like no one’s business. Krista’s been doing hair for about as long as I have, for about 17 years, and she is really good.
“We’re back to a point where we can accept new clients. We had gotten to a point where we were so busy and so booked that we couldn’t take the calls that were coming in,” Westfall said. “It’s usually always busy here. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are usually rockin’.”
Her customer base is extensive, with clients coming not only from Marmet and surrounding areas, but also Boone, Fayette, Raleigh, Putnam and Jackson counties. Some visiting from as far north as New York and as far south as Florida stop by to get their hair styled at the Marmet salon as well.
Along with styling for women and men, Savvy Shears’ services include shampoos, Keratin straightening, color cuts, Helix haircuts, manicures and pedicures, among others.
Reopening after the statewide shutdown of salons and barber shops imposed by Gov. Jim Justice in mid-March has made the staff extra cognizant of — and diligent about — the need for a clean, safe and reassuring environment for their clients.
“Some of the women coming in have been apprehensive,” Westfall said. “I keep it as clean as I can. I sterilize and sanitize what what I’m using. People are scared to death with all that’s been going on, but they’re comfortable with us. They don’t want to be scared. They want to know that you’re trying to take care of them.”
She added that West Virginia Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists guidelines state that masks are recommended to be worn at the salon but are not required at present.
Savvy Shears is also distinguished by its omnipresent turquoise color scheme inside, outside and throughout the salon.
“Turquoise is my happy color,” Westfall confessed. “It’s my groove, it’s my thing, it’s my happy, it’s my peaceful. It’s calming and revitalizing. It’s peaceful and re-energizing at the same time. People love it.”
She said walls, signs and other decor in the salon come in a variety of turquoise shades.
“It’s a color association — when people think of Savvy Shears, they say, ‘It’s that turquoise place.’”
Marmet Mayor Jay Snodgrass has been a loyal Savvy Shears customer since it opened in 2015, he said. “A lady cut my hair for about 35 years at another location. She retired about the time that Tina was starting, and we’ve built a relationship here since then,” Snodgrass said.
Sitting down for a haircut from Westfall last week, the mayor said, “This hair cutting was missed significantly. By Month Two into it, I was ready to find a Flowbee. I even called Tina to see if she had a Flowbee.”
“Since I’ve come here, I have been completely blessed. I was scared to death to make a change to come to this little town, and I wasn’t sure if my clientele would follow me, but I’ve made out so much more and better than I expected,” Westfall said.
Savvy Shears is located at 9209 MacCorkle Ave. in Marmet. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. At press time, services are offered solely on an appointment basis. Walk-ins will be reinstated once approved by the state Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists, Westfall said.
To make an appointment or learn more about the available services, contact Savvy Shears at 304-610-4991.