HONOLULU (KHON2) — Signs posted outside of Pure Beauty Salons in Macy’s stores confirm it’s shutting down Dec. 31. Employees told KHON2, Macy’s isn’t renewing leases for the salons. Workers said they were notified Tuesday, leaving many stylists heartbroken.
“It really hurts me that we’re going to be separated,” said Lori Helgen, Pure Beauty Salon stylist. “I’m going to miss all of our clients and our staff and it’s such a family environment here and it’s just sad right now,” said Laurie, a Pure Beauty Salon stylist.
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Workers said, Pure Beauty Salons have been around since the days of Liberty House. The salons have become a home for lifelong friendships and customers are coming by to get one last appointment in.
“Everytime I come in and see Tawny I tell her she has a gift and that she just knows how to make us shine and feel beautiful so my heart just goes out to her and all the workers,” said Jennifer Tinkham, a longtime customer.
“It’s not just a business, because when you go somewhere for a long time it’s familiar and I’m just speechless,” said Lucy Ashley, a former stylist and longtime customer.
As salons and barbershops continue to come and go, industry experts said there’s a need for more stylists out in the field. Honolulu Community College’s enrollment for cosmetology has taken a slight dip from 146 students registered in Fall 2022 compared to 157 in Fall 2021. Despite the numbers, the Hawaii Institute of Hair Design is seeing a surge in interest.
“I mean just this morning I had a few barbershops and salons calling and they’re saying hey we need barbers both fulltime and part time so the demand is definitely there,” said Kauanoe Beamer, Hawaii Institute of Hair Design Admissions Director.
For the Pure beauty Salon stylists, they’re staying optimistic about the future. Some hope to move to other salons together or even open up a shop of their own.
“A door closes and another one opens so that’s how I see it,” said Helgen.
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“Thank you so much for all your years of coming here and we are so happy to have had you for so many years,” said Laurie.
KHON2 has reached out to Macy’s and is waiting for a response.