WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many would-be hard-pressed to call 2020 a lucky year. However, for one Wichita hairstylist, a little luck, caring, and kindness has taken her a long way.
Bianca Bauer opened her business, Flourish A Salon, roughly 18 months ago after working behind the chair at the then-named Briggs Street Salon for 10 years.
The veteran stylist and new business owner opened with plans of remodels and upgrades, already putting a great deal of her own savings into getting started.
Things were going smoothly and the clients plentiful until, of course, the coronavirus pandemic.
Bauer shut her doors for months as did many other salons.
“It was a shock to have to close my door so soon before I could really follow through with a lot of the plans that I had been making for the first year,” lamented the salon owner.
In this time Bauer said she redirected her energies toward her family and community. In mid-April, a client reached out to mention a grant program seen on NBC’s The Today Show.
Coty Professional Beauty, the parent company of salon brands Wella, Sassoon, and OPI and Hairdressers at Heart offered $200,000 in grants to licensed hairdressers, manicurists, and beauty educators affected by the pandemic.
Bauer submitted her application in April and was surprised to find out in early July that she was among the 200 grant winners.
Entrants were asked to submit an application that included a few short questions to be selected as one of the individuals awarded a grant for $1,000.
“I remember, there was just a few questions, but there was, mainly. ‘How are you spending your time outside of the salon now that you can’t open,'” Bauer said.
The stylist and mother of two replied easily, she said.
“Well, I’d rather be in the salon. I was enjoying what I was doing. I felt like I was adding some value even under the circumstances,” reflected Bauer. “I had a nearby neighbor who was in a domestic crisis. I was able to help her. We fostered a few dogs. I had enough space and time for that and my daughter loved that.”
Bianca said she’s excited for a win that found her at a rough time. Though her salon survived shutdown without her taking on significant debt, like many, Bauer is still waiting for Kansas Unemployment Benefits to be paid to her from the months the business was down. Not to mention adjusting to new costs of re-opening her operation to include PPE for staff and customers.
The hairstylist told KSN that her plan for the $1,000 grant is already in the works. She’s commissioned new signage for her salon and expects to see it on her storefront in the next few weeks.
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