Through fire, rebuilding, a pandemic, and possibly a few murder hornets, there’s one thing that unites us all:
Everybody needs a haircut.
For Tonia Bordelon, owner of A Cut Above Paradise salon, these words have never been truer. October 4th marked the one year anniversary of the salon’s re-opening. As the first salon to open in Paradise after the Camp Fire, she’s been booked solid ever since October 2019. Now consistently booked out at least two weeks in advance, they answer at least ten phone calls a day. “It wasn’t even like that before the fire,” Tonia laughed. “I need more hairstylists!”
Tonia and her husband, celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary next month, fell in love with Paradise over twenty years ago, when they first moved to the Ridge with their infant daughter. In 2013, Tonia bought A Cut Above Paradise, already an established Paradise salon, and continued to build a thriving business.
After the Camp Fire, the Bordelons weighed their options. “We spent the first few months figuring out what we were going to do and determining the best fit for us. We had to decide if we were in a condition to rebuild,” Tonia said. The peace and quiet of the mountains ultimately drew them home to their original lot. “As soon as we decided to rebuild our home, it was no question to reopen the salon.”
To get the business up and running as quickly as possible, she decided to look for an existing building. Ultimately, she settled on the former Fuller’s Flowers building next to Holiday Market. “I was looking around for a bit, but it was worth the wait. I’m happy with the location. “
A year later, they’re busier than ever—but the last twelve months haven’t all been a walk in (Bille) Park. Like many businesses, A Cut Above Paradise has had to maintain a nimble business strategy during the rebuild process and ongoing pandemic. “It’s made coming back more of a challenge,” she said. “But Paradise has that camaraderie thing—your clients stick with you.” While things might not always go according to plan, she said, it’s important to “have an open mind, a strong heart, and be willing to roll with the punches.”
In the same spirit of camaraderie, she also welcomes the new stylists and salons in town—even referring clients to other businesses in town. “If I can’t take a client, I make sure they know there are options. I think there’s plenty of business.”
At the end of the day, she said, it’s all about recovering together. “Everybody feels more like family than just a client,” she said. “When we first reopened, I had women coming in just to say thank you for reopening. That was a pretty amazing feeling. Even today, we’re thanked on a daily business for reopening. I felt like I had no choice but to do well to serve these wonderful people.”