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Charlotte Amalie
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@Work: The Cutting Edge

Oct. 7, 2004 – When Tropical Storm Jeanne blew through the island a few weeks back, Dale Berry, owner of The Cutting Edge Salon, would have liked to be boarding up his house. But as it turned out, he had more pressing issues to take care of. He was moving his hair salon out of the Renaissance Grand Beach Resort into new digs at the bottom of Cassi Hill on the East End of St. Thomas.
"Decisions had to be made very quickly," said Berry. "It was really rushed, in the middle of hurricane season. The storm came, and I had to move my furniture out. While everyone else was securing their homes, we were securing our salon."
The Cutting Edge had been happily ensconced in the Renaissance for nine years. But when the luxury resort closed its doors recently, it was time for Berry to find his own space. As he looked around the island, he found there was only raw space available.
"We had to put the whole salon together from scratch. We had to do electrical, air conditioning, put up walls. It was a lot to do. It was basically like starting over from new. The only thing I switched over was my phone," he said.
Berry, relatives and friends worked long days to put the new salon together in under five weeks. During that time, Berry would squeeze a few clients in between picking out paint colors. But he's happy with the final result.
"It's all earth tones, fall colors. It's basically three rooms: a manicurist room, a hairdresser room and another room hopefully to be used for massages or facials," he said. "The salon turned out great. We have 200 square feet more. Everybody's been able to see us, we have a good location."
The Renaissance supplied a ready-made clientele for Berry and the stylists who worked for him. Guests of the resort would often come in with entire wedding parties.
Berry even had national exposure in his salon when one of his bridal parties was featured on the Entertainment channel. A lot of the bride's interview was shot as she sat in the chair, with Berry working on her hair.
"Nine years… there have been a lot of celebrities in the salon. That part we will miss. Working in a hotel, you never know who's going to be there."
But Berry has built up a large clientele of his own over the years, so he's not worried about the shift in business. "I don’t worry about competition," Berry said. "There are good salons on the island, but one person can only do so much. If you're good, word of mouth is definitely the best."
The Cutting Edge is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 775-2089.

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