They ‘Kut/Up’ while cutting hair in Leeds for almost 20 years

The Kut/Ups crew at their salon on 9th Street. L-R:  Lois Love, Nan Thorn, Penny Babin, Elaine Wallace, Violet Pardue. Photo by Dona Bonnett

By Dona Bonnett / Special to the Leeds Tribune

Some people like to be behind the scenes rather than in the spotlight and that is where you will find Lois Love and Elaine Wallace.

These two Leeds girls started Kut/Ups Hair & Nail Salon back in February 2000 with only $1,000. They didn’t have a clue about business, other than the fact that they were both single moms who had to work to provide for their children. Lois and Elaine rented an old shotgun house on 9thSt. for $135 a month. They found out very quickly that you get what you pay for. With much hard work and the help of friends, the eyesore was transformed into their first little salon.

Several years later, Kut/Ups outgrew the little shack their business had called home, so they moved up the block to a larger building that required the same TLC. Another stylist was also added. Again, with hard work and the help of friends, they were able to transition. It didn’t take long until several more stylists came on board and Kut/Ups outgrew that building, too. This time, they moved across the street to where Kut/Ups is located now at 1517 9thStreet.

The truth is that these two girls never imagined having a salon with seven stations and two manicure tables. Lois and Elaine knew that they trusted God to use them for a time such as this, but never imagined to the extent it would grow. This crew continually thanks the Lord for their success, because they know it’s not about them.  It’s all about serving people and loving them as Jesus would.

Over the 18 years in business, Lois and Elaine have learned that it’s not just a salon. It’s a place of friendship, community and ministry. They have had the privilege to be part of marriages, births, graduations and achievements. They’ve also been a refuge and comfort for families who have experienced disappointment, devastation, death and divorce. Kut/Ups Hair & Nail Salon is more than just a salon. Kut/Ups is an extension of family.

Kut/Ups is a great team player. The salon windows were all decorated for Leeds’ Homecoming and the salon team had a great time watching the Homecoming parade on Oct. 12.

Lois and Elaine really do not like to be in the spotlight when they contribute to their community. Their passion is to make Leeds a better place and help in a time of need. They have been involved with many nonprofit organizations over the years and still, to this day, serve to the best of their ability. Kut/Ups holds food drives for Leeds Outreach, adopt a child for Christmas, partner with Back Pack Buddies for hygiene items, donate and volunteer with the Leeds City School System, assist Leeds Arts Council during plays, promote Leeds Historical Society and the list goes on.

On the personal side, Elaine is married to Daniel Wallace.  They have two grown children and one grandchild. Their hobby is car shows.

Lois is married to Dwayne Love. They have two children, two grandchildren and a third grandchild on the way. Lois is a member of the Leeds Dirt Dabbers Garden Club. Lois and Dwayne are members of the Leeds River Campus of Eden Westside Baptist Church where Lois facilitates a ladies small group.

“Our purpose is to serve others,” says Lois.  “I’ve lived in Leeds my entire life, except for a few short years. This city has a big magnet in the center that draws people right back to it. I’ve been asked where I would want to retire to, if I could pick any place in the world, and I always respond with Leeds, Alabama. It’s home!”

Kut/Ups Hair & Nail Salon is a full-service salon and open Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call (205) 699-6245.

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