June 19

No More Quarantine Hair

Salon Voda in South Lake Union is open for business.

King County is now firmly in phase 1.5 of Washington’s COVID-19 Safe Start recovery plan. This allows for a selection of businesses, including salons, to reopen safely. Rachel Moormeier, owner of SLU’s Salon Voda, discusses what she’s learned during the global pandemic and how her business is operating now that many restrictions have been lifted.

Discover South Lake Union: What has the COVID-19 quarantine experience taught you as a business owner?

Rachel Moormeier: To be prepared for anything. If you would have asked me 5 months ago if this could happen I would have said no way. I would say learn from this and be ready for anything. Keep faith, ask for help, and know that human life is what is really important. So, if you are scared, angry, and just over it remember we saved lives and that’s all that matters.

DSLU: Do you have thoughts to share with other businesses facing difficult choices right now?

RM: Work with your landlord. Vulcan has been my landlord for the last 16 years. They have been wonderful. We also were there during the crash of 2008-2009 and almost lost the business but because Vulcan was so helpful, we made it through. Keeping communication open is key

DSLU: What do operations for Salon Voda look like now that you have reopened?

Opening the salon has been tough. You could literally do surgery in our space. The regulations that have been added to what we already do has adding time to the services. Wearing masks for 10 hours straight is exhausting, the cleaning between clients also takes time. But we would all do anything just to be back. We are so grateful and overjoyed to see our peeps again!

DSLU: Any tips for folks who have been quarantining and really need a haircut?

Plan for more time at your appointment. Be patient! We are working at a lower capacity so that means less people can work. Also, everyone is now on the same schedule so everyone wants in now. We are so busy, so it may take longer to get in. But just know that we miss you as much as you miss us and we will take care of everyone.

Salon Voda was a recent recipient of a small business grant from the SLU Chamber of Commerce. To donate to the SLU Chamber Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund, click here. Small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 can apply for funds here.

Story by Ethan Chung and photographs courtesy of Rachel Moormeier/Salon Voda.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle