One of the pioneers of a Westover Hills retail strip has closed after more than 40 years in business.
Act I Hair Design at 5073 Forest Hill Ave. in the Westover Place Shopping Center shut down July 1. Owner Shirley Chewning said she’s decided to retire after a few years of business slowing down.
“It was time for a change for everybody, I guess,” Chewning said. “It’s different. I’m looking for things to do, but I’m not going to go crazy looking for things to do.”
Chewning, 67, graduated beauty school and started in the business at 17. In the mid-1970s, she attempted to buy Act I – then called Kincaid’s – but at the time banks weren’t keen on loaning money to women for such purchases, she said. Chewning managed Kincaid’s until 1978 when her chance finally came.
“I purchased the business in 1978, mainly because one of my customers worked for what’s now Bank of America. She got a promotion and was able to lend me the money,” Chewning said.
The 1,100-square-foot shop is available for lease. Michael Plotkin of Dumbarton Properties manages the space.
Chewning said her staff of four has found work at Totally You salon in the Stratford Hills Shopping Center.
Chewning also was a founding member of the Westover Hills Merchant’s Association in the early 1990s.
“A lot of the businesses have of course come and gone,” she said of Westover Hills. “We never had an empty building back then, but now we have some. I don’t see the neighborhood as going down, it’s just changing.”