Linda Stewart and Sandy Kvale had never thought they would own their own business. For many years, the two were hair stylists at Styles by Dave, the Madison Street hair salon in Waunakee that closed last spring after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
But they wanted to continue working as hairstylists and continue working together, they said.
Stewart and Kvale said they also wanted to take care of their clientele, some whose hair they’ve cut for more than a decade and have become like a second family.
“It was like a divine thing that happened now that it’s done,” Kvale said.
“Now that we’re here, I’d say it was a blessing in disguise,” Stewart added.
Getting Shear Image open took four months, but they began operating out of the Arboretum Drive location in September.
First, the building’s owner, Tom Reis, had to apply for a zoning change to allow a salon in the office park. Then, they had to obtain the licensing and set up a limited liability corporation. Finally, the space had to be built out for the small, two-chair salon.
Kvale described the experience as “adventuresome.”
On Sept. 21, they opened, and began cutting hair together again, providing a degree of normalcy during this pandemic for themselves and their clients in a safe, friendly space.
The stylists take precautions to protect themselves and their clients from the coronavirus. Masks are required, and they do extensive cleaning between each client and at the end of each day.
Dryers are set 6 feet apart to comply with social distancing guidelines, and a wall between the two chairs provides a barrier.
A small waiting area is available outside of the salon in the common area of the building.
Though the salon is small, it is growing. Styles by Dave customers may remember Sheila and Ann, and they now rent space at Shear Images to see clients, as well.
Stewart said she always had an interest in styling hair, from the time she was a child and would do her dolls’ hair.
Both she and Kvale agree that today, their work is more about helping their clients feel better.
“My goal is to be listening to people,” Kvale said, adding she can sometimes feel like a therapist. “It’s about the hair, but it’s more than the hair.”
They want their clients to feel better when walk out of the salon than when they entered.
“You’re doing something for you, self-care. I like that I get to be a part of that,” Kvale said.
“Deep down it makes us as hairstylists feel good, when we know we have made them feel good about their hair or their lives,” Stewart said.
The salon offers haircuts and other services for all ages and for men and women. Kvale said in the past week, she has cut a 1-year-old’s hair and done a shampoo and set for a 100-year-old woman.
“I can officially say we do 1 to 100 and everyone in between,” she said.
The stylists provide haircuts, coloring, permanents and waxing services, along with shampoo sets, which Kvale said has become “kind of a lost art.”
They describe their prices as fair and competitive.
Shear Image is located at 1001 Arboretum Drive, Suite 104. To make an appointment, call Kvale at (608) 345-1377, Stewart at (608) 692-2971, Sheila at (608) 669-5858 or Ann at (608) 335-8263.