Staff Report | Lloyd Green Jr.
Co-owners Diana Azevedo and Polly Codorniz, whose friendship was created merely by fate, blossomed into a successful business partnership of 25 years.
“Our sisters were best of friends and were always trying to get us to meet one another, but it never happened.” Said co-owner Polly Codorniz, “We even attended beauty school around the same time but never crossed paths.”
It wasn’t until later both Polly and Azevedo found one another working at Boyce’s Hair Salon in Williams and instantly became friends.
A vision between two best friends, whom have self-titled them selves Lucy and Ethel, opened their business on December 30, 1986, aptly named Shear Class.
“I can remember one of our first visionaries of opening a salon, it was a combined beauty shop and Ice Cream parlor.” Said co-owner Diana Azevedo.
On a trip back from the coast, the duo was traveling on Interstate 505 when they came up with the name, “Shear Class”.
The duo had purchased the necessary equipment, had the clientele, yet there was a slight problem with their rented space.
“I remember we bought the Dream Salon Package,” said Azevedo, “we had all what we needed but the space we were renting at the Bill Pennington Building was not ready.”
With a last minute effort to get the business started they opened their business in a 200 square foot suite next to Garrisons in Williams.
“It was horrid,” said Codorniz, “We had to tack down linoleum to the carpet as the owner would not let us remove it, and the sink was in the back of the building. We couldn’t wait to move into our new space.”
“I can remember our opening day like it was yesterday.” Said Azevedo, “Polly’s sister was married the same day. Not only did we have a grand opening we had a bride to style and a wedding to attend.”
Six months later they moved to their spacious 600 square foot facility, which included a receptionist, and a nail technician.
“We often joke that it took us 20 years to move around the block,” said Codorniz, “we moved from the Pennington building, to the spot across from Granzellas where we had six stations, a receptionist, nail technician, massage therapist and an esthetician. Finally we ended up where we were at.”
Shear Class is currently located at 530 7th Street in Williams.
Diana and Polly have always believed in giving back to the community and participating in various community events and activates throughout the years.
“We used to provide our services to the Miss Colusa County Pageant for over ten years,” said Azevedo, “It was a lot of work but very rewarding.”
Both are active members of the Citizens for a Better Williams, were active in the Williams Civic Association, and provided Job Training through the Colusa County One-Stop.
“We have participated in bed races and parades,” said Azevedo, “We have even competed in local Cut-a-thons, given hygiene classes at the school, and we have held various education seminars in our shop.”
“We just try to have fun,” said Codorniz, “you have to have fun and learn to laugh at yourself.”
Shear Class strives to be on top of the latest technology and styles within their industry. This includes advanced hair washing stations and pull down hair dryers in their current location.
“I can remember when we bought our first computerized system in 1988.” said Azevedo, “It cost us $10,000! Looking back I am not sure if it was the best decision at the time but it really gave us a technical advantage.”
Both Azevedo and Codorniz have attended the West Coast Spring Style Show for the last 25 years, and have never missed a one.
“We have done some wild things the last 25 years,” said Azevedo, “We onetime had an individual perform hypnosis on weight loss and quitting smoking.”
Codorniz and Azevedo contribute their success to keeping their business family friendly and treating their employees as part of a large family.
“We have trained a lot of stylists over the years” said Azevedo, “many of those stylists still practice throughout Colusa County.”
“We have been through the thick and thin with employees,” said Codorniz, “weddings, births, you name it we have always been there for them.”
“In return our employees have helped us out.” Said Azevedo.
Andi Armstrong, salon employee of over 20 years, handled a smelly situation when heavy seasonal rain caused the sewage to backup into the salon.
“Andi, grabbed a broom and took care of business.” Said Azevedo, “both Polly and I were out of town and if it wasn’t for Andi it could have been a disaster when we got back.”
“We have had great employees,” said Codorniz, “many salons have employees come and go, we have a very low turnover of employees.”
The average turnover for many salons is two years; Shear Class average turnover is 15 years. The longest employee to be employed at Shear Class is Andi Armstrong of 23 years, Jay Flagor of 13 years, and Alma Lemus of 11 years.
“We value our employees opinions a lot,” said Azevedo, “When we remolded our current location we asked for their input every step of the way.”
Azevedo and Codorniz and the staff at Shear Class strive to keep the salon a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. Keeping it family friendly they service all ages, men, women, and provide a wide range of services that include pedicures, manicures, massages, hair cuts, color, smoothing treatments, perms, and more.
“I am here more than I am at home,” said Codorniz, “Kids will see the massage bed and think that we live here. Many parents share that as they drive by their kids ask to come see us at our house — our shop.”
Outside the salon, Codorniz and Azevedo have a joint venture in making homemade D&P Jalapeno Jelly, and recently discovered card making and homemade jewelry.
“We have the attitude that we don’t have to be in competition with others,” said Azevedo, “we want the best camaraderie between salons.”
Shear Class always pulls through and goes the extra mile for its customers.
“When you come in here, no matter what the topic is you going to get an opinion if you like it or not.” Said Azevedo.
All in all, at the end of the day Shear Class has provided Colusa County with 25 years of great service and many satisfied customers. Some of those customers travel great distances as far as Rio Vista, Woodland, Reading, and Sacramento.
“We make our clients feel as comfortable as possible,” said Azevedo, “If a client is changing stylists for a onetime cut or looking for a long term relationship, we will never ask who cut their hair last.”
“Every day is a new experience,” said Codorniz, “its always a learning opportunity and we look forward to many more to come.”
To book an appointment or for questions, call Shear Class at (530) 473-2005. ■