Salon owner reflects on bouncing back after the Joplin tornado

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JOPLIN, Mo. — The 2011 tornado damaged or destroyed 553 businesses.

Most of them rebuilt and one of them re-opened barely a month after the storm. It’s Cut Loose hair salon at 26th and Byers Avenue. The business was a total loss – but it was back up and running in a matter of weeks.

Diana Collins, Cut Loose Owner, said, “I had just received a text message that said that St. John’s had been hit, and they believed my shop was gone.”

Diana Collins remembers driving into town but debris forcing her to park blocks away from her shop Cut Loose.

She knew she was in the right area, but that area was unrecognizable.

“We didn’t know where we were, there were no signs, there were no … nothing. I mean we just kept walking.”

There wasn’t much left to identify her shop.

“It was completely, completely gone, except the foundation.”

Her first priority was to check on neighbors, and help at a nearby nursing home. But rebuilding was a close second.

“We got the first building permit from the city, and all of the girls who had worked here at that time, their families also showed up, and we had that we just started that morning and had it by that evening had the foundation cleared off.”

Construction went quickly, spearheaded by Diana’s husband who is in construction. They built on the original foundation – with some improvements.

“You know, we got to have a pedicure room, where before we didn’t have.”

The new salon hosted a grand opening on July 2nd, less than six weeks after the storm. Diana credits divine guidance for the quick recovery.

“I believe God got us through a lot so you know, that’s what we’ve focused on most of our decoration is – ‘Be still and know that I am God.”

Diana Collins is also quick to point out the importance of insurance. She says it was crucial in rebuilding in 2011 – and is something she recommends to all businesses to stay current with their insurance.

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