For 27 years on the corner of Merwin and New Haven Avenues, city resident Lynne Dowse has been the owner of The Cutting Edge Salon. Being part of both the Milford and West Haven communities, clients came from all over to get services done at her cozy salon. Lynne and her partner at the time Shelle, started the Cutting Edge Salon in 1995 with the goal to do it their own way and that they did.
For more than a quarter-century the salon saw a lengthy line of clients, stylists, support staff, offered hair colors, candy, friendships, trends, lots of hairspray, therapy sessions, and who can forget the tanning beds.
Dowse was not only the owner of a small business, but she has also been a mentor, a teacher, a day-maker, and a friend according to those who know her.
“She makes you feel like family with her warm energy regardless of how long she has known you,” said Lisamarie Hughes, a longtime friend and co-worker. “She has patience with the new stylists, not only teaching us daily but also going to classes/hair shows with us. Even when she wasn’t working, she would stop in and bring Dunkin’ for the girls. She always gives back to the community, donating gift certificates, buying raffle tickets, and connecting people together.”
As an owner/ stylist she is a hardworking career mom, raising four kids, while always caring for her clients. She would even help others with their kids, she is constantly picking up stray kids she is everyone’s “Auntie Lynne.”
“Countless times she would pick up her clients that didn’t have a ride, go to their homes if they were ill, or let them post-date a check because they didn’t have the money at the appointment. I can’t tell you how many discounts she gave out over the years or how many times she helped the other stylists with their rent. That is just the person she is and the example she sets,” Hughes said.
According to Hughes, customers would be welcome the same way, and no one was ever turned away on last-minute appointments.
“She always wore a friendly smile and left some sweet treats waiting when the clients arrived. Occasionally (all the time) her clients would wait until the absolute last minute to get their hair done and then call when she was booked up, (she was always booked), but she would always squeeze them in and accommodate,” Hughes said.
Some days were longer than others for Dowse, she started at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning, or might be at the shop until 10 p.m. some nights.
Hughes believes Lynne Dowse has left a mark in the community that will be hard to match.
“The Milford, West Haven and cosmetology communities will sorely miss her work ethic and genuineness,” she said.
But she had more about the longstanding relationship.
“As someone who worked with her in multiple forms for these past 27 years, I personally just want her to know how appreciated she is. Acknowledging all the years, blood, sweat and tears she gave to the Cutting Edge Salon, along with a legacy she built there. We watched our kids grow up in that salon, all the girls have their first jobs there. There are too many memories, so many years of friendships,” she said. “The Cutting Edge Salon has new owners I personally want to wish them and along with the rest of the girls much continued success and happiness in that cute corner spot.”
Wishing Dowse well in her retirement, Hughes had some simple words.
“In closing, Lynne from all of the staff (past and present), the clients and the many faces that walked through those doors, thank you for all you do and for just simply being you,” she said.