After Legends Barbershop in Pullman closed at the end of June, barber Jennifer Siegrist was running out of options.
When a plan to open another shop in Pullman fell through, she considered offering haircuts and shaves out of her basement at home.
That is when another business lent a helping hand.
Fran Amend, owner of Chipman and Taylor Chevrolet in Pullman had been getting haircuts from Siegrist for four years.
“We’re friends,” he said. “We talk about everything. I sensed through our conversations that this was a bad time.”
There was a space available on the second floor of the dealership that used to be the sales team lunchroom, so he offered it to her.
Siegrist admitted she thought the location was weird at first. Then again, she said, this whole year has been weird for her, so she gave it a look.
She liked what she saw.
“I said ‘yes’ and all the dams broke loose. All of sudden everything was easy,” she said. “It just felt like the right thing.”
Siegrist, also known as “Jenn the Barber,” accepted and opened Jollies Barbershop on Nov. 2.
She said many of her previous clients stayed with her, and Amend said she gained new clients among his staff and customers.
“The ease of getting a haircut now is awesome for us,” Amend said.
Siegrist, who sees about 40 people a week, said none of her clients have left with a brand new car yet, but she expects it will happen sometime.
Siegrist is happy in her new setting. Despite the challenges of losing her job amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she did not want to give up her passion for cutting hair.
“You have to do what you have to do to survive this,” she said.
She called the barbershop her “church” and said it is a place her customers can relax and be themselves.
“This is the perfect job for me,” she said. “I’ve done many, many jobs and this one has brought me a sense of community that I’ve never known here for sure.”
She also is thrilled to stay in Pullman.
“Pullman I think is a pretty unbelievable place, anyway,” she said. “Our community is very strong and I really admire many people in this community.”
Amend labeled Jollie’s Barbershop as “just two friends trying to help each other out.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging and his heart goes out to all the businesses that are struggling.
He is glad to have helped create a situation where Chipman and Taylor and Jollie’s Barbershop can “feed off each other.”
“This combination turned out to be pretty sweet,” he said.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at email@example.com.