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Palmer salon and boutique team up to bring in business during pandemic

Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 8:08 PM AKST
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) -The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way small businesses operate, and some are teaming up to get through.

In Palmer, Andrea Hooks opened Alpenglow Hair Studio this spring. She is a long-time hairstylist who decided to take the risk to start her own salon.

Then the virus spread to Alaska.

“So I opened March 1. Three weeks later we shut down. So it was kind of scary,” Hooks said.

She and the other stylists are now back at work and busy with customers.

It’s not just hair services you’ll find at her salon though. About half of the building space belongs to the Forget Me Not Boutique.

“We do carry every size for every body type, which is really important for me because I’m a curvy girl and I want to make sure that anyone who walks in here can find something that makes them feel cute and pretty,” said owner Emily Hawks.

She started her business online a few years ago. Hawks said that digital presence has been crucial during the COVID-19 era. The work-from-home economy has also changed what she carries in her store.

“I’ve had to pivot and change my inventory a lot and kind of redesign my style to a certain extent. Blazers aren’t selling like they used to but hoodies I can sell all day long,” she said.

Hawks said she’s always partnered with other businesses and is happy to be sharing space with Alpenglow.

“There’s the financial benefit of it. You don’t feel that burden on your shoulder. You’re not losing sleep at night as a small business owner wondering if you’re going to pay your bill,” Hawks said.

Hooks said there’s good camaraderie between the two and they can play off each other’s strengths.

“I think it’s really important. I had some people try to discourage me from having that. But I think it saved us, honestly. Because people are coming in that normally wouldn’t come to me. My clients wouldn’t normally go to her,” Hooks said.

The ladies said the Palmer community has been extremely supportive of their new business venture. They hope the salon/boutique combo will continue to bring in customers even when times are tough.

Alpenglow and Forget Me Not Boutique are located on the corner of Arctic and Alaska in Palmer. The business is open Tuesday through Saturday.

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