On Saturday Mopheadz Hair Salon in the Night owl Centre closed doors for the last time after successfully trading in Gladstone for over 14 years.
This morning I received a frantic message from a lovely lady I have known in Gladstone for a number of years. She said – Karina ‘the Observer are chasing me. They have contacted all of my staff. It’s hard enough I just don’t want anything awful printed. Can you kindly tell the community that I have closed the salon in the way in which I know we need to deliver the news’.
I don’t often mention the other print news outlet in my articles but I guess this just shows what a business owner can expect when making a painfully difficult decision to close doors in Gladstone.
Because I am a small business owner myself I cringe when I see business closures being reported like a dime a dozen. Its really unfair to the people who spend lives building the business, put their life savings into them, employee so many people over the years to just be so quickly and coldy dismissed as another ‘closed business’. Today i will be the change i want to see in the world and try and do it differently.
If you stick with me here, I’d love to give you some insight into how and why it’s a very sad day for Sandy, her clients and her staff but also why we must stand next to Sandy as a community and say thanks for all that she has done.
Sandy Turner has been a hairdresser in Gladstone for over 22 years. That’s not how I first met her though; years ago we worked together on a fundraising effort for Variety QLD the children’s Charity and for many years since she and I have circled around doing lots of charity work. For anyone who walked in her door and asked for a voucher or a gift for a community fundraiser Sandy would always do her best to offer what she could.
Let me take you back to last Friday. Sandy calls me and said ‘ I’m devastated, I have cried all I can but it’s just not viable for me to operate the salons anymore. After 14 years of building the business and giving it my all I just have reached the point of no other option. Rent and wages are too high and its been too hard for too long. I wanted to tell you myself.’
Anyone who knows Sandy, will tell you the room comes alive when she walks in with her loud and charismatic personality, making everyone smile. She has been the owner of Mopheads Hairdressing Salons for over 14 years.
Sandy has employed up to 150 local people and trained in excess of 100 apprentices. I will let that sink on for a minute because in a time when jobs are a big topic of conversation I feel like hairdressing salons get overlooked for bigger industrial jobs news – Sandy has trained over 100 hairdressing students that have gone on to open salons, work for other salons and create more opportunity for new upcoming hairdressers.
It’s not just staff that benefited either, she has made thousands of women feel instantly awesome after having their hair done, and let’s not forget all of the ‘first haircuts’ that our children have had. This is a lady who is strong, excellent at business and deserved to be recognized for it.
I will never forget one day being in the Salon having my hair done and a little boy walked in, his mother looking very stressed and anxious and the boy not at all happy about what was happening. The mother explained her son has some sensory issues so it was a big deal and quite difficult to have a haircut. Sandy swooped in and took the boy to the chair, started chatting with him about all of the things that really had him interested and distracted him while she gave him a quick but excellent hair cut. She finished up, the boy had a smile on his face and she quietly told the mother ‘I have a son who also has similar sensory things’ He did a good job.
This is the type of lady Sandy Turner is, for anyone who has experienced Sandy in the salon or as a community member – lets all join together to farewell her wonderful businesses today with the dignity in which it deserves.
You are no less successful that you were last week Sandy. You have made a difficult but necessary decision and you are an excellent person, we all understand life happens. Here’s to you – a business owner, a hardworking woman, a generous human and an excellent mother.
This article is to acknowledge all of the wonderful things you have put into Gladstone over the past 14 years – Thank you and goodbye Mopheapz Gladstone.
I hope i have done the news of closure justice, it doesn’t have to be awful news, it can be a celebration of what was.
Sandy will still run her Agnes Salon and keep her commitment to working with the color brand WildColour Australia.
Written by Karina Georgi (Brindley)