Construction project creates more obstacles for Montgomery salon that already suffered during the pandemic lockdown

Dear Editor:

My name is Joanna Kulikowska I was taught at a young age that if you work hard, good things would follow.

I began my journey at La Meche as a nail stylist and swept floors for the original owners who opened the space in 1986. Over time, I obtained my license as a hairstylist and eventually became a partner in the salon in 2000 and the new owner of La Meche In 2012. That year, we decided a new space was needed for the salon and we leased space in the Village Shoppers 2 Shopping Center in Montgomery.

With the dawn of COVID, myself and many other salons were mandated to shut down for an extended period of time. Recent regulations have allowed us to reopen our salon, which is a feat in itself. Now we have the additional challenge of overcoming obstacles with no accommodations from our landlord.

During these troubling times, a massive construction project in our shopping center has begun and our landlord has effectively obliterated any clear and safe passage to our salon. The landlord is doing everything possible to push us out of the property by making it difficult, unpleasant, and dangerous to use our space. The landlord of Village Shoppers 2, Pugliese Properties, has effectively accomplished this by blocking safe access to our entryway, erecting construction fencing that removes the entire customer parking area, and performing loud and dangerous construction activities directly in front of our premises. We are permitted to use the space until July 31, 2022 as part of our lease agreement, and we have paid our lease in full and on time for the last 8 years, even during non-use of the building when the state’s salon restrictions were put into effect.

We have tried, without any success, to work this out with the landlord, only to be treated like the dirt they currently digging up outside our windows. As a small business owner, working conditions like these can result in the demise of our business. We will continue to forge on as best as possible but wanted our voice to be heard and supported. No one should be treated this way when they’ve worked so hard to build and maintain a successful business.

Joanna Kulikowska
La Meche Hair Design


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