The calls started early that January morning when Larry Marshall Burnworth died suddenly at age 60.
His employees gathered at his Larry Marshall Hair salon on Millwood Avenue at 5:30 a.m. and opened for business as usual.
But over the next couple of weeks, it became apparent the salon would not work without Burnworth.
The night the business closed, five of the hair stylists met and hatched a plan that would keep them going nonstop for the next couple of weeks.
Never miss a local story.
The Columbia women, all longtime employees, scrambled to open a new salon that would honor their beloved boss - and keep them working.
Studio Marshall, 3928 Rosewood Drive, was born that night and opened Feb. 1. Burnworth, a cosmetologist, had operated his hair salon in Columbia for 30 years.
"I learned an awful lot from him," said Shelly Brown-Byrd, dabbing tears from her eyes. Brown-Byrd - who called her boss "Daddy" and leaned on him in hard times - found the shop on Rosewood just as the owner was getting ready to hang the "for rent" sign.
"I told him to give us 24 hours, and he did," she said.
She pooled her resources with Ann Hewett, Brenda Longno, Billysue Hayes and Nelva Vasquez and the women rented the shop, bought equipment from Burnworth's estate and got to work painting and sprucing up the building and calling clients.
"I did not know I had all this in me," said Brown-Byrd, who went to work for Burnworth shortly after graduating high school. She credits Burnworth with helping her learn not only to cut hair but also how to run a salon.
The experience has brought the women closer, she said.
"There's not one of us that's too good to sweep up hair, or fold a towel or take out the garbage," Brown-Byrd said. "Everyone's in this for each other, and everyone has to help each other. It's been fun."
The salon is about half the size of Burnworth's and has fewer employees. But the staff is planning to add services, including facials, manicures and massage therapy.
New digs. Bohemian, a women's clothing and accessories store, has moved to 707 Saluda Avenue. The new shop opened Wednesday. The store originally planned to consolidate its merchandise into one portion of the Devine Street location. But the space on Saluda Avenue is more versatile and allows for better clothing displays, manager and buyer Denise Stahl said. All of the home decor and accessories have been relocated to Bohemian Home, which remains at 2736 Devine St.
A new place for pinestraw. Pinestraw Place Landscape Supplies will hold a grand opening March 5 at 1011 Old Cherokee Road in Lexington. The full-service landscaping company sells pine straw, mulch, sand, topsoil, rock, sod and firewood. The company also offers delivery and installation. Info: pinestrawplacesc.com
Free breakfast. IHOP is offering free buttermilk pancakes to its customers from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 23. The restaurant will be accepting donations that day for the Children's Miracle Network Program, which benefits Palmetto Health Children's Hospital. Locations: ihoppancakeday.com