PORTSMOUTH — More than 46 years immediately after founding her natural beauty salon, Marga Coulp, owner of Traditional Cutters, has determined to shut the curtains on just one of the city’s most neighborly firms.
Nevertheless she needed to extend the business’ tenure to 50 yrs, the closure is ensuing partly from the impacts of the coronavirus and her possessing to be the “COVID-19 police” with conventional functions. Inspite of the disappointment of the closure, Coulp is confident she is producing the right shift.
“When God sends you a gift and you never open it, you don’t know what is in it,” she stated.
With the doors officially shut on Saturday, Jan. 23, Coulp is finalizing a sale with a customer this 7 days and will begin to settle into retired lifestyle. When her plan will not be vacant, as she options to go on operating with local veterans like she has for decades, Coulp now has the time to sit back again and reflect on the far more than 100 people she has used, her faithful clientele and what the future retains.
“It’s been my entire lifestyle. It was just time to change the webpage,” she mentioned.
Common Cutters commenced on Broad Road in 1974 on the 2nd floor of a house run by a lady who also owned her possess salon. Right after the woman’s passing, she rented out the house from the woman’s son just before in the long run moving the business enterprise about to Islington Street. Later, in 1980, she eventually located the store’s prolonged-lasting house foundation on Albany Avenue in Portsmouth’s West Close.
Francis Label, Coulp’s quite first customer in Oct 1974, just lately arrived in for just one last haircut at the salon, an emotional capping off of an period marked by group and camaraderie that stood for a long time.
At times visitors who weren’t even coming in for haircuts would prevent into the shop and chat with Coulp and the stylists for hrs, ingesting the bottled h2o and feeding on the cookies she had established up. “You never just stroll into a salon and get to know 1 individual,” she said. “You get a rapport.”
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A pristine and aesthetically pleasing ambiance is what Coulp prided herself on as operator, investing time and dollars into exceptional and unforgettable features to her store. With its high ceilings, various mirrors and vibrant merchandise diligently organized on cabinets, Traditional Cutters also experienced quite a few posters of style continuous Marilyn Monroe scattered on the beige walls.
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Consumers normally took notice of the female who Coulp claims often photographed properly. “People seriously relished that.”
A lasting staple of the salon was a roughly 6 toes tall, fringed black-shaded lamp of a skirted woman with a popped knee, a bejeweled tie and belt, as very well as a hand on her hip.
Common Cutters also featured an outdoors area at the rear of the shop in which stylists would generally try to eat lunch or go to have a cigarette, sitting on crushed rock at a glass table with an umbrella. The organization also experienced a rooftop yard on a drop.
“Those are the factors that folks will constantly try to remember about the store,” Coulp said.
A single of Coulp’s favourite memories of the salon’s approximately 5 decades was on a evening close to 12 decades in the past when some sock hop tunes started to play in excess of the speakers. She and her stylists like older tunes, so a shopper prompt she educate them all a dance from the late 1950s called “The Stroll.” That second in time sparked the idea to host a sock hop, with Coulp and her staff dressed in beehives and horn-rimmed glasses at the Portsmouth Elks Lodge.
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There was songs, there were being balloons and, previously mentioned all, there was $8,000 lifted for nearby veterans.
“That was pleasurable to get the job done on in the salon at the time,” Coulp said. “Every female that worked for me, they all dove in and took charge.”
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About the previous four many years, as nearby improvement started out to sprout, Coulp said she has been given several provides to order her business enterprise. Just about every time, she refused.
In December, with Vintage Cutters making 50 percent of what it was used to and COVID-19 needs impacting crowd size and the in general atmosphere, Coulp made a decision it was time to hear in on what her business could be marketed for.
A pricey close friend of hers, lifelong Portsmouth resident and true estate agent Wayne Semprini, took a future consumer on a tour of the store. Inside of a week, Common Cutters was bought, days absent from the Christmas holiday.
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Coulp began distributing several products, machinery and decorations to other Portsmouth salons and attractiveness parlors for free. The hardest part was the “emotional rollercoaster” that came with supplying her stylists and her receptionist one particular month’s notice and commencing to see her life’s perform disappear ahead of her.
“There ended up tears at initially and then a little anger and then back again to tears and now they’ve identified a house and now they experience great,” she said of her workers.
There’s loads to look forward to for Coulp, including obtaining her initial COVID-19 shot following thirty day period and ideally remaining capable to go on prepared family vacations later this calendar year. Although it will consist of a glimmer of sadness, there is also a great deal to appear again on all through Typical Cutters’ 46 many years.
“I opened each individual reward along the way,” she said. “I figured this was timing.”