Home News and Features Flooded Montpelier Hair Salons Join Forces 

Flooded Montpelier Hair Salons Join Forces 

Man in green shirt sits in hair salon chair. He is reflected in the mirror.
A customer awaits a trim at the Chop Shop on Route 302 in Berlin. Photo by Savannah Yefchack.
  Before the July 10 flood hit central Vermont, Angie Johnson and Andrea Jackson each owned next-door hair salons on Elm Street in Montpelier. When the flood destroyed their businesses, they created a new, jointly owned salon, in Berlin. 

Johnson’s Riverside Salon and Jackson’s Elm Street Chop Shop have since joined forces, and, in a nod to their Montpelier roots, their newly formed business is the Elm Street Chop Shop, now on Route 302.

The floodwaters ruined most of their equipment and left Jackson with only a few hairstyle salon chairs and Johnson with a few salvaged mirrors, a shampoo sink, and a shampoo bowl. The next-door salons were both completely devastated, but Johnson and Jackson used the adversity to create a new business and solidify their friendship. 

Jackson knew this wasn’t going to be the end of her salon. She wanted to get back to business as quickly as possible and asked her landlord if there was another available space. It turned out a space was open on the Barre-Montpelier Road in the plaza next to McDonald’s. Jackson saw how big the space was and the significance of the location, and, she said, it felt like the perfect place to start over. When Jackson realized how big the space was, she thought straight away of her friend Johnson. 

The Elm Street Chop Shop is spacious, with many mirrors and lots of hair supplies, and there are many aspects that Jackson and Johnson have added to make this studio feel like home and a safe space to get a new cut. 

“It’s been great up here at the new place,” Jackson said. “The parking is great, it’s easily accessible, and even though it was hard for us to leave Montpelier, we love this space.” 

According to Jackson and Johnson, even the worst moments can create the most beautiful things.

Savannah Yefchack is a Montpelier High School student intern at The Bridge.