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Employees left without jobs after state shuts down Foil Hair Salon in East Grand Rapids

The employees say they're shocked and had no idea the business wasn't licensed.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Employees at a hair salon in East Grand Rapids are left without a job after the state shut it down Friday afternoon. 

Foil Hair Salon is located at 2249 Wealthy Street Southeast and has been open since June 2020.

13 ON YOUR SIDE got several viewer tips about this salon after the owners closed it abruptly over the weekend.

Employees say their last day open was supposed to be next Wednesday.

A spokesperson for The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) says they have no record of the salon ever being licensed.

In a statement to 13 ON YOUR SIDE, Foil's owners, Ross and Chelsea Ruiz, call it "an honest business mistake", saying in part:

"We were never formally educated on owning a business prior to this, we never went to college for it. Due to our lack of experience with owning a business we were uneducated on the requirements and importance of re-inspection, inspection for our second location and renewal".

Employees were cleaning and moving things out of the salon Friday after a LARA representative told them they couldn't operate any longer. 

The women we talked to say they're shocked and had no idea the business wasn't licensed.

Four former employees spoke out about mistreatment by the owners and reacted to the salon's closure.

"It's crazy even now we're being surprised by more atrocious things," said Andi Blohm.

"My license could get pulled for working somewhere [unlicensed]. I mean, that's infuriating," said Emily Lemerise.

'I know all those Grand Rapids girls had no idea," said Kayleigh Pallas.

The owners also say they took on more business than they could handle, leading to financial trouble and their eventual eviction. That eviction was supposed to take place June 24th before LARA shut it down early.

The Ruiz's statement goes on to say:

"We truly cared about all of our stylists and clients. We are so sorry for the mistakes we have made during the trial and error process of owning a salon."

The same owners also owned Peach Body Bar on South Lake Avenue in Spring Lake which LARA says had no record of being licensed either. That business closed in January 2022.

LARA couldn't comment and further because of an ongoing investigation.

The full statement from Ruiz is below:

"When we opened our salon we were a young married couple who had never embarked on the journey of trying to open our own business. We were never formally educated on owning a business prior to this we never went to college for it. This whole experience owning a booth rental salon has been a giant learning curve for us. We opened in 2018, got an LLC for our business and was inspected/issued a cosmetology establishment license under Foil Hair Studio from LARA. This license can be looked up through LARA's website via their verify a license section. Due to our lack of experience with owning a business we were uneducated on the requirements and importance of reinspection, inspection for our second location and renewal. It was an honest business mistake and there were no ill intentions with that situation.

A large mistake we made was that we took on more than we could handle as business owners. We were trying to expand too fast, hire too many employees, paid for too many marketing campaigns and it put us in a financial rut we couldn't recover from. This led us to getting behind financially and forced us into eviction on the 24th of June. We did try our absolute hardest to fight for the salon to stay but unfortunately we couldn't come to an agreement with our leasing company. We let our team know as soon as we knew our leasing company's final answer. The unfortunate situation of us closing had frustrated our stylists and clients of our Grand Rapids location. This closing led to a hate page being made about us on Instagram called @foilhairsucks spreading extremely personal information, misinformation, hate and accusations. Although we understand their frustrations about the short notice of our closing which we are so sorry for, cyberbullying is never ok and this page has truly affected our mental health. We truly cared about all of our stylists and clients. We are so sorry for the mistakes we have made during the trial and error process of owning a salon."

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