It's a new day for owner after salon destroyed by May 20 tornado

Sharese Tate and about half her stylists are now operating from a temporary salon at Armstrong McCall beauty supply store.
by Jennifer Palmer Modified: October 9, 2013 at 8:23 pm •  Published: October 10, 2013

The physical building is in pieces, but Sharese Tate, who owns Trenz Salon, is keeping her fellow stylists close.

On May 20, a tornado leveled the shopping center where Trenz Salon had been for a decade. One stylist survived by hunkering down in the building with a client and her client's husband. They lost the building and nearly all the supplies and tools within.

Tate and more than most of the stylists have relocated to a temporary shop in an education room at Armstrong McCall, a professional beauty supply store on NW 12. With help, they were able to convert the room into a salon in about a month, for “a whole lot less” than the cost of finishing out a new salon.

“I've lost some of the hair dressers. It's going to be hard for them to move clients several times,” Tate said. “That's been really hard, to lose some of them, too.”

In addition to the professional challenges, Tate has faced obstacles in her personal life. In April, her son died. Weeks later, her husband lost his job. Then, the tornado destroyed the salon. About a month ago, her father died.

“We just feel like we're in a bad dream this year,” Tate said. But with her faith in God, support from her husband and strong bonds with the “girls” at work, she's rebuilding the business.

If the shopping center at SW 149 and S Western is rebuilt, Tate wants to move Trenz back. Darenda McCarty, who owns the strip center, said she's still waiting on her insurance company to approve the claim. It was a total loss.

Survivor's story

Candace Hintz, who rode out the storm in a back room of the salon, wants to return, too.

“We have an awesome shop. We all get along. We're like a family,” she said.

The salon was closed the day of the tornado — a Monday — but Hintz was meeting a client there anyway. When she finished the woman's hair, she thought the storm was too close for them to leave, so they took cover together.

As the building shook, it sounded like someone was vacuuming coins, Hintz said. After the twister passed, she was trapped in the rubble but managed to pull herself out, then help her client out.

Hintz remembers the horses, lifted from the Orr Family Farm's stables a block away and dropped on the shopping center. She lost her shoes and needed help walking to the car.

She was treated for leg and foot injuries, including a torn ACL and torn meniscus. The next morning, she sent her husband to search for her appointment book, which was buried in debris where the salon once stood (he found it).

Hintz couldn't stand well but went back to work four days later, using a chair. She had surgery, and now feels 100 percent better.

“I can't believe I even survived,” she said. “I never dreamed I would survive a tornado in that building.”

by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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If you go

After so much was given to them, Trenz Salon now wants to give back to the community. The salon is hosting a giveaway for tornado victims on Nov. 2. Five people will receive a year's supply of hair products, a blow dryer and a $100 gift certificate to the salon. In addition, 100 bags of hair product will be given away. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the salon's temporary location, 840 NW 12 in Moore, in the Malibu Shopping Center.

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