Lindsey Weatherson greeted me cheerfully at the door as I stomped inside from the flurry of wet snowflakes drifting down, and we sat quietly beside the hair dryer to chat about the Dale Salon, a business she took over some twenty-five years ago now.
Actually, the air was filled with laughter and delight as we skipped from topic to topic (the Dale Salon is renowned throughout the valleys as the place to exchange crucial and valuable information — and sure enough, I found out some things this afternoon that I hadn’t known about). But on this particular foray I really wanted to talk about the business, so we settled down to discuss this important institution.
It was opportune to drop in on a Tuesday, because the salon is open from Tuesday through Saturday 9-5 except Friday when it doesn’t close until 7pm. The business employs four staff (two full time and two part time). Although styles and fashions have changed over the years, some things are constant: hair still grows and needs regular attention; it’s always ‘fun and games’ and cheerful empathy inside the big window. Lindsey likens the service to a kind of therapy session, sometimes, and inasmuch as it often helps to talk about problems, if only to see your way through, the salon is always happy to listen.
It’s such a friendly place for children too, and it’s been unisex hair dressing for the past forty years, so the clientele is all ages and everybody, really. Booking is appreciated, but if you were to drop in ‘on spec’ the friendly staff might well be able to fit you in. It’s always a lively hive of activity.
We were chatting about longevity, Lindsey and I, even though I couldn’t believe she’s been taking care of the place for so long. Between the Dale Salon, the Gift Shop, the Co-op and Gowlands ATV, (all of which we’ve now dealt with in this little diary) these businesses have seen the proprietors of every other establishment around the square come and go, sometimes over and over again over the past few decades. When you have that kind of history in context, you really understand how things work in the village.
So it was really lovely to chat, to share a laugh or two, and to find out more about this beloved institution, the Dale Salon, where clients are really friends and friends are truly appreciated.