ONE STORY AT A TIME, DURING THE PANDEMIC OF 2020.
In a time when the world is collectively experiencing the same thing, It’s hard to hear each individual story. The purpose of this project is to share the story of individual business owners in downtown Astoria during the shutdown caused by the pandemic. The lights may be off; we may have locked doors and closed signs; however, there are still ways to help us during this time. We can do this together.
Chelle Sollars & Holly
NW Style Loft Salon and Boutique
1365 Commercial St Astoria OR 97103
NW Style Loft Salon and Boutique opened their doors in March of 2020
Holly Shepherd and Chelle Sollars opened NW Style Loft Salon and Boutique March 8, 2020.
They put everything they had financially and emotionally into the process of opening their new salon space in just one month. As they put in long hours for the remodel, they continued to work full time at another salon. Their families were so supportive during the very long days! They opened for business on March 8, 2020. They were forced to close their doors 14 days later due to the pandemic.
Since closing their doors they have had no discount or forgiveness for the overhead cost of running their business. The landlord understands what has happened and is being lenient, allowing them to pay late. They also have not been granted unemployment yet, the federal 600 a month or Oregon state unemployment that was opened up to self employed and gig workers. Thankfully their other halves are still working and have been able to help pay rent and some of the overhead that it takes to run a small business.
Even though they have an amazing support system they were scared about what it would be like when they went back to work. At the time of the interview, there was no date to reopen their doors again. Things have changed since their initial interview.
At the time of this writing, Oregon has announced a reopening date of May 15, 2020. The Northwest style loft salon and boutique were able to acquire all the personal protective equipment and other equipment that they needed to meet the requirements of the Oregon state health department for salons to reopen during the pandemic. Holly and Chelle are prepared and ready to work.
During the time that their doors were closed their clients, friends and family have all been incredibly supportive. They have been purchasing retail products through their online store and prepaying for their appointments!