On Friday, December 30, Changes Salon owners Diana Azevedo and Polly Codorniz celebrated 30 years of making people feel good about themselves.
They attribute their success to their love for hair and their customers.
“I have always like messing with hair,” said Azevedo. “So I went to cosmetology school in Chico.”
For Cordorniz it was her cousin that inspired her.
“I wanted to be just like Jay Flagor. I always thought she was the coolest. That’s why I went to beauty school,” said Cordorniz.
Though both lived in Colusa County all their lives, their paths didn’t cross until they attended the same school of cosmetology in Chico.
“We met through friends and became the best of buddies,” said Azevedo.
Their friendship led the duo to open their first salon, Shear Class, together in 1986.
Shear Class was a forefront of the Williams community, a place where everyone knew everybody and someone always had an answer. Information as simple as local directions landed a visit from Olympic Bronze medalist Scott Gault in 2012.
The duo stated that over the years the salon employed many local stylists like Andi Armstrong who worked with Azevedo and Codorniz for over 27 years. They also employed massage therapists, nail technicians, and several receptionists.
Shear Class wasn’t just a salon; it also featured a gift shop.
“We felt like we wanted to offer more retail than hair products. We would attend gift shows and find unique items that other stores didn’t carry,” said Azevedo. “We miss it a lot, but it got to be overwhelming for us. We had fun doing it.”
Over the years, both Azevedo and Codorniz have accomplished much. They participated in a Jerry Lewis cut-a-thon in Sacramento and then organized a similar event at the Colusa County Fair. For years, the duo provided hair and make-up for the Miss Colusa County pageant contestants.
“At the time Dianna’s sister was the director of the pageant, and we got involved with her,” said Cordorniz. “We donated our time for something fun to do and we were proud to give back to the community.”
Cordorniz said one particular pageant was challenging.
“There was one event with 14 girls, and we had to get everyone done promptly,” said Cordorniz. “It was exciting because it was so busy, and trying to get everyone done. It was fun to meet all the young girls.”
Their involvement in Colusa County has extended beyond the salon, such as when they participated in the Pioneer Day Parade and Festival of Lights with their fun and whimsical float entries. Azevedo and Codorniz were both active participants in the “Adopt a Highway” program where along with their staff, they cleaned Highway 20 between Husted and Lone Star Roads for many years.
“While traveling back and forth to work, I got tired of seeing all the trash along the highway,” said Cordorniz. “It was the time when the fast foods came into Williams. We were talking about the situation, and a customer of ours informed us that we could adopt a highway. We decided it would be fun and adventurous. It’s amazing the things we would find alongside the road.”
From tires to dirty diapers, the salon cleaned up the stretch of highway together, as a team.
“We had a great staff that enjoyed giving back to the community. We all participated together,” said Cordorniz.
After building a large, successful business, after 26 years both Cordorniz and Azevedo decided to downsize.
In June of 2013, the team moved their business to Colusa under a new name, Changes Salon.
“We made a list of names and had family members vote on their favorite,” said Azevedo. “I always say change is good, so Changes Salon was a perfect fit.”
With a new name, some faces have changed but for the most part their goal is still the same.
“Clientele hadn’t changed much with the move,” said Cordorniz. “Certain percentages of our clients come and go, and sometimes back again. We have clientele from all the counties surrounding us and some from even further.”
With customer loyalty, comes tradition. “Last week I trimmed a fifth generation client,” said Azevedo.
Azevedo and Codorniz both enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Colusa and the support of the friendly community.
“People stop in all the time just to say hi and grab a lollipop,” said Cordorniz.
Long time client Pat Schaad is one of them.
“I have been a client since the beginning,” said Schaad. “It’s a great place with great people.”
As the business moves into the next 30 years, the duo stated they’ve couldn’t have done it without the support of the community.
“We feel blessed to have worked with some great people over the years and in a County that’s supported is for thirty years and for that we would like to say, thank you,” said Azevedo
To congratulate Polly and Diane, , visit them at Changes Salon, 231 5th St. in Colusa or call (530) 458-2005.■