MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Breanna Kelly is a Mankato-area native and mother of two young girls. She also owns a young business.
The Rose Room Salon on South Front Street opened its doors shortly before the economy closed.
One year ago, the waiting game began for Kelly, her staff and stylists across the state.
“I was looking back at old Facebook posts from a year ago yesterday, and it was like ‘see you in two weeks!’ like, ‘I’ll reschedule you in two weeks.’ that was far beyond what actually happened,” Kelly said.
It was 11 weeks before Kelly was able to start welcoming guests back in, at just 25% capacity at first. She says she relied on PPP loans and a flexible landlord to get through.
Minnesota’s capacity limit increased in phases, and only now can salons operate in a way that feels more like normal.
Last week’s restriction dial-back gave salons and barbershops the green light to operate at full capacity, as long as chairs are socially distanced and masks are worn at all times by employees and customers.
Kelly says they’re excited to be back in full swing and said it wouldn’t be possible without the support from the community.
“Honestly, we couldn’t have done it without our guests because before we shut down we were busy, after we came back we were busy. We wouldn’t be here without them.”
Kelly says between the shutdown and maternity leave, she missed five months of work in 2020. She’s excited to be behind the chair for good now — and returning to the connections, what she says she missed the most.
“Guests make our day. We are people-people, I think that’s why we are in the industry. Seeing everyone come in and one day hopefully being able to see their smiles again.”