Local businesses rejoice return of large events: ‘It wasn’t easy, but you can’t give up’

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WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Local businesses, including hair salons, are seeing the impact of large events coming back.

“We were so busy we couldn’t keep up,” Kim Queffelec said, the owner of All Dolled Up Beauty Bar. “And then COVID… And then nothing.”

Like many small business owners, Kim Queffelec does not fondly reminisce on the past 14 months. She owns All Dolled Up Beauty Bar in West Seneca and was forced to close twice. The first time, the salon shut its doors for nearly four months.

“It wasn’t easy, but you can’t give up,” she said. “If I give up, I won’t have this place anymore, so I keep going.”

She budgeted her money and did what she could to save the business she’s worked 10 years to build. She saved money in order to open back up so that her clients and six employees had a place to go back to.

And today, there is finally a light at the end of the long and dark tunnel. Business is gong back to normal, many thanks to large events again, like weddings.

Less than a week ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo started allowing bride and grooms to have 250 people at their weddings, without testing. If guests can prove vaccination or negative tests, weddings can now have up to 500 people inside.

“It’s great,” Queffelec said. “We have a couple where we have two back-to-back, we do one and have to go right back to the rest.”

Queffelec said her phone has been ringing off the hook with brides looking for hair appointments this summer and fall. They’re also calling for weddings in 2022.

“Seeing people walk out that door with a smile, hearing that we made their day, that’s the biggest thing.”

Queffelec has plans to expand as well. She’s opening a second All Dolled Up location in Lewison soon. She also has plans to open a sister company in the City of Buffalo, which will include everything All Dolled Up offers, along with men’s cuts and nails.

Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.

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