July 29, 2020
Category: Blog Posts
A Cut Above the Rest
A few things have changed for Louise Susic of Fashion Setters Men’s Hairstylist since the advent of Covid-19, but in many ways her 105 Street shop hasn’t changed at all and the perfect place for people looking to get their hair done in an safe environment.
“I’ve been working by myself for a long time,” says Susic, who hails from Bosnia in the former Yugoslavia. That means one chair, one customer, and until recently, no friends or family waiting in the shop. It’s a perfect situation for social distancing in the pandemic years.
“At the beginning I would tell the wife or husband that they needed to wait outside, or even at the (next door) Fountain Tire lounge,” explains Susic, who works by appointment-only and comes in to set up at 7:30 a.m. Now a customer’s companion can sit and wait in the shop, though at the requisite two-metres distance. With heightened fear of the virus causing many to hesitate before entering an establishment, Fashion Setters Men’s Hairstylist offers a friendly and secure service for her clients.
Susic is zealous in adhering to the new COVID-19 rules set out by Alberta Health Services. She diligently sanitizes after every customer, and takes home towels for washing every night. Masks are not just suggested, they’re required.
“I had one customer who said he didn’t want to wear a mask because he’s asthmatic. He also said that he’d gotten the virus before, and you can’t get it again. I told him that these were the rules and that I could be penalized if I didn’t follow them. I explained nicely, and he understood.”
Clients visit from all over; not just parts of Edmonton, but Sherwood Park, St. Paul, even as far away as Kelowna. “There used to be a man who came from Calgary, but then he became bald,” laughs Susic, who has been cutting hair at the 105 Street shop for 14 years now. Before that she was right around the corner on Jasper Avenue, plying her trade for 10 years next to a Subway restaurant until a new owner asked for a substantial rent increase.
Susic has seen a drop in hair appointments since Covid, but her regulars continue to come by. They’ll sit on the lone chair and gaze up at the memorabilia and framed photos and paintings of sports figures as Susic works on styling their locks. Among the clientele are actual players for the Edmonton team.
“It works out pretty well because I go to the games all the time,” she laughs.