Salon offers free cuts to IP workers

Published 10:26 am Saturday, November 28, 2009

FRANKLIN—A salon in Franklin is offering free haircuts or hairstyles to employees of the International Paper Co. paper mill if they have an upcoming job interview.

“We live in this community, and we have family that works over there too,” said Debbie Story, owner and stylist of Hair Designs at 95 E. Fifth Ave. “We’re trying to do our part as a community service. The community has been good to us and we want to return the favor.”

Story said her family would be directly affected by the mill’s closure. Although her husband, Ken, is a customer service representative who will continue to have a job with the company after the mill closes, her son-in-law, Billy Duke, works in the cook room at the mill and will be losing his job.

Asked how many people had come in for a free haircut or hairstyle, Story said, “We’ve only had a couple people so far, but some have indicated that they had interviews coming up. But they’ve been passing the word around to everybody they work with that we’re doing it.”

She said the people who had come in for the free haircuts already “were very surprised and appreciative. I think that maybe they’ve never had an offer like that before. We hope it helps them get a job.”

Story said the idea for the free haircuts — which normally cost $12 for men and $14 for women — came from her sales representative, Paul Boyette of Columbia Beauty Supply in Chesapeake.

“You don’t have to be a regular customer here,” Story said. “We welcome anyone that’s going for a job interview to come in and get a free haircut.”

Joyce Johnson of Sedley, who was getting her hair styled on Friday, loved the idea.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Johnson said. “Everybody needs help at a time like this.”