HAMDEN, CT — After sharing special moments with families over the past nine years, from first haircuts to birthdays, the owners of Trixie’s Cuts For Kids in Hamden are hoping to be around for many more memories.
That, however, is easier said than done.
Trixie’s Cuts For Kids is a unique children’s hair salon at 1484 Dixwell Ave. in Hamden. In addition to haircuts for kids, Trixie’s has a toy store, hosts birthday parties and offers spa days and other party packages.
Like many small businesses, Trixie’s Cuts For Kids has been hit hard by the coronavirus and is struggling amid the pandemic.
The business was shut down for more than two months by Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order closing hair salons and barbershops. It came at a time when Trixie’s was building a new customer base after re-locating from Milford two years ago, according to owner and operator Geraldine McKeon.
Trixie’s Cuts For Kids first opened in Milford in 2011.
“At the beginning, it was just me and my husband Matt, slowly building business through flyers, word of mouth, etc.,” McKeon said. “We started with a small amount of toys but have steadily increased our supply. We received a lot of great reviews and business grew.
“Eventually, rent started to become very expensive, and we had an opportunity to buy a mixed-use property in Hamden. I grew up in Hamden, so I was very excited.”
Trixie’s opened on the first floor at 1484 Dixwell Ave. in Hamden while the Milford store stayed open for another year or so, according to McKeon.
“The re-location was a challenge in terms of keeping and gaining customers,” McKeon said. “Then, at the worst possible time, the pandemic arrived. We were closed for 2 1/2 months. I received an unemployment debit card with a $0 balance. We were denied loans and received no stimulus checks. My husband and I have been delivering food to try to make up for lost income.”
They’ve also started selling their toys and products online.
“We can deliver anywhere in the country, and we offer free delivery anywhere in New Haven County,” McKeon said. “We also do free curbside pickup.”
Trixie’s reopened at the beginning of June.
“We have been abiding by all the requirements of the health board, and are getting a positive response,” McKeon said. “We cannot do birthday parties right now, but we can do spa treatments for one or two girls at a time.”
McKeon said operating a business during the pandemic has been “quite a challenge.”
“Salon chairs had to be re-arranged, ventilation considerations, the list goes on,” she said. “To stay in business, we need to work hard, and maintain a clean, safe workplace, Also, to have customers to have the confidence in us to safely provide our services.”
McKeon and her husband currently have one employee working with them. She was out of work while they were closed and now has limited hours because of limited business, according to McKeon.
To help make ends meet during these times of limited business, McKeon made the “very difficult” decision to set up a GoFundMe page for assistance.
“My husband and I are proud, independent people, but circumstances have led us to this decision,” she said. “We believe in our concept. Many children don’t like haircuts. We try to make it fun for them, with race cars to sit in, and toys to play.”
One person who donated on the GoFundMe wrote that McKeon was “always so fantastic when my boy was small. Love this company and miss coming there!”
Another person wrote, “We’ve been going to Trixie’s with both of our young sons for years! The staff is so kind and engaging with our kids. The boys end up with great haircuts and love going. Here’s hoping the community rallies around you and all the small businesses struggling through these hard times.”
Despite the difficult times, McKeon is optimistic about the future.
“Eventually we will have birthday parties again, as health codes allow,” she said. “We are confident that our society can rebound from all of this, and that our business can, too. We just need to catch up.”
For more information about Trixie’s Cuts For Kids, visit its website here and on Facebook here.
To visit the GoFundMe page, click here.
GoFundMe is a Patch promotional partner
See also: CT Businesses: Join Patch’s Local Business Information Center
This article originally appeared on the Hamden Patch