Merz hangs up clipping shearsPublished 11:05am Wednesday, July 10, 2013
After 41 years owning a hair salon, Linda Merz will be handing over the shears and keys for Family Hair Clinic to employee Casey Leitch as the salon owner enters retirement.
Merz purchased the business from Gertrude Hanlon, known then as Four Seasons Beauty Salon, which was originally located on Mill Street.
Her first day as owner was not a precursor to the eventual success she would have.
“My first day in business, we charged $2.50 for a haircut and had only one customer the entire day.
It was not what you would have called a successful day,” Merz said, with a laugh.
After a few years, Merz not only changed location, moving to Westridge Mall, but renamed the salon.
The newly named Family Hair Clinic operated at the mall for 20 years before moving to Riverfront Square and finally to Sunmart in 2003.
“I did not feel that I lost business moving or changing the name,” Merz said said of the business’s moves.
Although its location and prices have changed — $20 for a haircut 40 years later — the salon still offers the same great haircuts, coloring and sugaring, a form of hair removal.
Leitch doesn’t plan to do a complete makeover of her newly acquired business — just a touch up.
“I plan on doing some updates,” she said. “Adding more technology to make it easier on the staff.”
Merz said she is also confident she has left her business in good hands, raving about her former employee.
“She will only improve the business and build upon it,” Merz said.
Leitch credits Merz with helping her improve her technique over her13 years in the salon business, but if Leitch needs help on the business end, Merz is just a phone call away. “She’s still going to be there for me,” Leitch said. “She is still going to be teaching me the business side of things.”
After 47 years, Merz is finally ready to hang up her apron.
“My legs and feet are tired. I’m ready,” she said. “I do it with mixed emotion, I won’t say I miss the work, but I will miss my clients and work associates.”
Merz hopes that her new-found free time will allow her to spend more time with her grandchildren and travel with her husband, Larry.