Rachael Venema is a small business owner in Ripon, and like many on January 27th saw photos all over social media of damage from the storm that rolled through Ripon the day before. Many friends of Venemas on social media had damage to their yards, including trees, fences, decorations, and more, however, one post stood out from a fellow local small business owner, Heather Hernandez, owner of Divine Salon & Spa.
"I can’t believe I am writing this right now. Unfortunately, last night the insane winds blew part of our roof off. This morning we walked into this. I honestly have no words. 3 shutdowns and finally we had our first day yesterday. I just wanted to notify you all of this news. We are devastated. If you had an appointment this week - your stylist will be in touch with concerning your appointment. I wish I had more info to tell you what this will look like going forward but we are unsure of the amount of damage. So far we know at least a week. Our hearts are broken. Please be patient with your stylist as we now navigate this", explained Hernandez on Divine Salon & Spa's Facebook page.
After reading the devastating social media post, Venema knew she had to help somehow and decided to set up a GoFundMe campaign. Within hours of posting the link to the GoFundMe page on social media, over $1900 had been raised.
According to the GoFundMe campaign, Divine Salon & Spa is a full-service salon located on Main Street in Ripon. They have 9 hairstylists that rely on this salon for their livelihoods. They strive to provide the best service within their relaxing, positive atmosphere that makes every one of their clients feel better on the inside as well as the outside.
After three state shutdowns, which caused them to be closed for 8 months, they were finally given permission by Governor Newson and the State Board of Cosmetology to reopen. On January 26th, they had their first day back and they were so happy to see their clients again. Then that evening a huge storm rolled in with 50 mph winds and lots of rain. The roof of their building was ripped and extremely damaged sometime during the night. In the morning, Hernandez decided to check her business cameras since the power was out at her home. On the video, all she could see was water gushing from the ceiling, ceiling tiles on the floor, and water all throughout the salon. She rushed to the salon and found it worse than she had thought. Orange water was everywhere from the front door all the way to the back and it was running down the hallway.
Hernandez and her hairstylists are devastated. They were finally able to return to work, yet once again they are having to shut down. This time due to water damage to their space. Restoration businesses have been called in and thankfully the damage to the building, flooring, and items in the salon will be covered by insurance. But the continued loss of income is a huge blow after such a difficult year due to the shutdowns and restrictions put in place due to covid.
Their goal is to open and be back in business as quickly as possible, but the repairs are quite extensive and will take at least 3 weeks to be completed. Being shut down for repairs is causing them to have a huge loss in income and the bills still continue to come in. After three state-ordered shutdowns causing them to be shut down for over half a year, they have taken a huge hit in income. PPP and grants have helped a little but now getting hit with this storm damage after being open for only a day is devastating.
Divine Salon & Spa has been part of downtown Ripon since 2013 and they are a business that has always given back to our community. From participating in downtown events to donating to local athletics, nonprofits, and local fundraising events they are a business that truly cares about and serves our community. This year has been hard, but they continue to fight to provide a great service to our community.
Now it's our turn as a community to show them love and support during this really difficult time. They have gotten knocked down over and over this past year, but have kept getting back up and having hope that they could return to business as normal. Let's help by showing them how we as a community care about our small businesses and are here to help them in this fight to be open and remain in business.
The funds donated will go towards paying bills and the loss of income due to yet another 3-4 weeks of having to close their doors. Any amount donated would be greatly appreciated. Let's show them what community is all about and how Ripon is here to support them through this difficult time.
To donate and support Divine Salon & Spa, visit their GoFundMe Campaign