Ingenious and Resilient and Reopening | A Word from our President

Mission Hills Word From President J. Daniel Geddis

Ingenious and Resilient and Reopening

A Word from our President

By J. Daniel Geddis
President, Mission Hills Business Improvement District
Realtor, Team D&B at One Mission Realty

Baseball season is in full swing and at The Regal Beagle a loyal following knows the drill for tailgating in the India and Chalmers Streets parking lot:   “BYO Chair or tailgate, respect the Social D, and NEVER apologize for a grand slam.  We’ll take care of the rest.” Beginning about an hour before the first pitch, food and drink specials and even some giveaways await attendees.  Ingenious!

San Diegans have come together again to lower the County’s COVID-19 case rate. This is welcome news, but as the medical and science professionals tell us, it is important to remain diligent. The County of San Diego is hovering under 3%, well below the state watch list threshold of 100 cases per every 100,000 residents. It’s an important benchmark in the battle against the Coronavirus. Now is the time to focus on the things we can control as a community of businesses and residents.  The race is not over. Resilient!

Despite virtual meeting and mask wearing fatigue, and because there is no vaccine, all San Diegans must keep taking the necessary actions to prevent COVID-19 community outbreaks and the spread of the virus. The actions include: 1) Wear face coverings; 2) Maintain physical distance; 3)  Wash your hands; 4) Avoid crowded places; and, 5) Stay home if you are sick.

As I am writing, the Governor and County Supervisors have allowed many businesses to re-open in stages, beginning August 31.

Especially hard hit have been the personal care community of relaxation and beauty, which are abundant in Mission Hills, and closed for the longest duration by local mandate for indoor services. Sadly at least three hair salons have permanently closed; Salon Bella at 1605 West Lewis, Say Lula Salon at 811 West Washington, and King’s Parlour at 902 West University. 

Salon Ink owner Liz Salcedo calling for safe reopening of salons.

At 3957 Goldfinch, a staple in the Mission Hills BID for nearly 17 years, Salon Ink owners Liz Salcedo and Henry Monreal have twelve fulltime employees and six independent contractors who, before the middle of March, were offering a full range of hair services.  The Salon Ink team became leaders in the protest movement to re-open hair salons including marching at the San Diego County Administration Center, holding press conferences, appearing on local television newscasts, and sharing daily messages on social media about the health and safety training cosmetology students receive in order to be licensed, and the ongoing health and safety practices in the salon which are monitored by the State of California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.  As someone working in real estate, another highly regulated industry, I can relate!  Liz and Henry recently shared with the Mission Hills BID, “Our salon has provided many opportunities for so many young hairdressers that have wanted to make this industry a career and not just a job.” They continued sharing, “coming to a salon is not just a haircut and color, it’s an experience and a relationship between a guest and an artist.”  They also shared they have seen Mission Hills grow into an amazing and robust community with endless potential.  Though saddened by the government’s often changing and confusing government pandemic mandates and the effect on all small businesses, they are heartened by more recent COVID-19 test results and look forward to welcoming back clients who have become friends and once again making a difference in each person’s life. 

Billie Burnell modeling Colors on Canvas tote bags for sale at Backbone Floral & Vintage

At Backbone Floral and Vintage, owner and designer Jesse Zmuda celebrated this unique neighborhood treasure’s opening at 1530 West Lewis in February 2020.  Following a summer time cross-country trip she is now open more days and hours, with mask on and safe social distancing.  Zmuda and daughter Billie Burnell are offering one of a kind tote bags created from Mission Hills’ school children’s hand painted Colors on Canvas banners.  Bags retail for $39.  Proceeds will be shared between the mom who sewed each bag and the 2021 Colors on Canvas banner art contest. Please stop in to check out the totes.  No two are the same.  And, they are water proof too!  https://www.backboneco.com/  

Mission Hills small business community has shown its ingenuity and resilience. Now let’s continue to progress to a safe re-opening!

Thanks for reading the monthly column of the Mission Hills Business Improvement District.  Please share it with a friend.  For questions, comments, and suggestions please contact Susan McNeil Schreyer, executive director, at MissionHillsBID@gmail.com.