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Hair salon closings leaves dozens of stylists scrambling, but other salons pitch in to help

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BRANFORD -- Imagine receiving a text that you no longer have a job. That's exactly how the roughly 50 stylists of Image Company salons got their pink slips.

"The owner reactivated his Facebook account again today," said Victoria Mikulski, who was among the stylists receiving the text Monday night, adding that the owners "still won't respond to us."

The salon industry is very cutthroat, according to one salon owner. But, with 50 stylists now out of work, numerous salons are extending a helping hand.

"They have families to feed and they have mortgages to pay," said Dawn Ganino, owner of Branford's Vincent Palumbo Salon. "They are more than welcome to come here, with their following, and continue to get paid what they were getting paid at their commission."

The ownership of the Image Company, which had locations in Bristol, Cheshire and Glastonbury, did not respond to FOX 61's request for a reason why they closed their salons so abruptly earlier this week.

"My thought was I could open my doors to them," said Gina Rivera, the owner of Hair's Talent in East Haven. "They could come here, work for a month. I wouldn't even charge them. I wouldn't even take a commission."

And, she says, the stylists would be under no obligation to stay beyond that first free month.

"I know how difficult it is to find a home where year you know you fit and you feel comfortable at," she said.

One former Image Company stylist tells FOX 61 their final pay checks still cannot be cashed. So, she and her former coworkers are trying to out the owners Carolyn, Matt and Kyle Gibbons, whose faces they posted outside the salons on a sign reading "Wanted for payroll theft!"

"These poor girls built up a clientele and now their stuck," said River who has owned a salon for 32 years.

But, their clients are not stuck. The following salons will honor Image Company gift cards and are willing to hire the displaced stylists:

  • Vincent Palumbo Salon
    • 116 North Main Street, Branford
  • Hair’s Talent
    • 30 Main Street, East Haven
  • Creative Haircuts
    • 2100 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden
  • Glorious Hair
    • 1402 Whalley Avenue, New Haven
  • Salon Square
    • 715 Lakewood Road, Waterbury