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Waiting for the green light

Coberly ready to start cutting hair again

SOLON– Lisa Coberly is anxious to go back to work.
But she’ll have to wait until Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health decide it’s safe.
Coberly’s Solon Barber Shop has been shuttered since a March 22 proclamation in which Reynolds closed a slew of retail businesses.
“I saw it coming,” she said. “I was expecting it. It still kind of broke my heart when it actually happened.”
Coberly admitted she’s happiest when working. It’s been hard not seeing her customers.
Since she works on a walk-in basis, she put a sign on the door and a message on her website letting customers know what was going on.
Coberly can’t work from home. Her shop is licensed by the state, which prohibits her working at home or visiting people’s houses.
All she can do is watch for the governor to relax the restrictions.
“Hopefully that will come sooner rather than later,” she said.
Reynolds did allow a select list of establishments to reopen on a limited basis in 77 counties April 27, but barbershops and salons were not included.
“I’m kind of waiting to see what kind of guidelines they put in place for us, and expecting to have to make some changes in here when I reopen,” she explained.
Still, she feels like one of the fortunate few.
“I know there are a lot of small businesses out there right now that are having to decide whether or not they will be able to continue to run their business when this is all over with,” she said. “I’m not in that boat.”
As soon as Gov. Reynolds gives her the green light, she knows she will be opening back up again.
Coberly opened the Solon Barber Shop to start off the New Year in 2004.
She grew up on a dairy farm near Waverly, graduating high school in 1987. She knew she wanted to be a barber from a fairly early age and graduated from the Cedar Rapids School of Hairstyling in 1988.
Coberly was co-owner of a barbershop in Center Point when she met future husband Scott and they followed his career to North Liberty for four years and then to Indianola. When Scott had the chance to return to the City of Coralville to become superintendent of parks and building maintenance in 2003, the couple started looking for a new home with their kids David and Trisha.
They chose Solon.
“It’s been good to be here,” she said. “It’s well-fitted for me.”
Business has been good and she’s established a great group of very loyal customers.
“I miss them,” she added. “I always told tell my customers this is more of a hobby for me than a job.”
It will probably look a little different when she does reopen. Coberly expects to have some social distancing requirements because the shop occupies such a small space. She’s going to need to control how many people are inside.
“I definitely want to make sure that my customers are safe,” she noted.
She’s looking at a combination of appointments and walk-in traffic, along with some extended hours to deal with the initial deluge.
Coberly appreciates her customers’ patience and looks forward to seeing them soon.
Clients have sent cards and left messages wondering how she’s doing.
“Solon’s a great community,” she said. “I’ve got a great group of customers which is why I miss them so much.”
She’s been hearing a few stories about the home haircuts taking place.
“Honestly I’m looking forward to that,” she said. “When I do get to reopen again, I think that will be the fun part about all of this, hearing all those home haircut stories.
“Hopefully nobody’s had their ears cut off.”
In the meantime, Coberly traded her clippers in for a brush and has been painting the walls in her house. The porches are next.
“I’d rather have a set of clippers in my hand than a paint brush,” she lamented. “And Scott’s honey-do list is getting pretty long. I think he’s ready for me to go back to work, too.”

Solon Barber Shop
128 E. Main St.
Updates posted on website and voicemail
319-624-7224 (forwarded to home)