Hundred Celebrates Fall In A Unique Way
The Hundred area has had its fair share of tragedy this past year. In late July the town was devastated by floods which left many homes and businesses destroyed , and the folks unsure of how to even begin picking up the pieces. The town is still recovering, day by day.
Heather Norris Riley, a local florist, has dealt with her own loss, due to the flood. However, Riley realized the town needed a pick-me-up, despite the dark times. Therefore, she organized Hundred’s first ever “Autumn Pole Decorating Contest.” The town had decorated utility poles through the Christmas season, and Riley figured the same could be done in the spirit of the Fall season. Therefore, via social media, she encouraged her neighbors to represent their businesses and/or organizations through brightly and cheerfully decorated poles.
A three-person judging team observed the poles and declared Brittany Cottrell, owner of Beauty Unlimited, to be the winner. Cottrell is still rebuilding after the flood destroyed her business, but if the way she meticulously and creatively decorated her pole is any inclination, Cotrell will be back in business in no time!
“Brittany pretty much lost everything in her beauty shop, due to the flood” Riley said of her friend. “She’s been working since July to make a comeback… She’s always so happy to participate in these sorts of things. She really goes all out,” Riley said.
Cottrell Is Working To Rebuild
Cottrell herself said her love for doing hair started when she was young.
“My mom and great-grandparents both owned salons and did hair in Hundred. When I was in the eighth grade, I attended a career day and the beauty school from Fairmont was there answering questions and braiding hair. From then on I always said that’s where I wanted to go to school, and that I didn’t want to work in a big Salon. I wanted to open my own.”
Cottrell’s dream came true on November 16, 2010, the day before her 21st birthday. She said it was scary, at first, being 21 and owning her own business. However, the years since have flown by.
Cottrell had four feet of water in her building, as a result of the July floods. “I lost everything that I worked so hard for.”
“Shoving the door open, after the water had receded, was horrifying. Everything was covered in a half inch of mud and it looked as if a tornado had went through my salon.
“I just stood there in the doorway and cried. As I walked through the muddy mess, I found things that were in my bathroom – in by my washer and dryer – three rooms away. When I got back to my office my refrigerator was lying on its back, and my microwave was on the floor.”
Cottrell said the image was terrifying.
She also shudders, thinking that she could’ve been in the building when the flooding occurred.
She explained, “One of my friends called me (that night) and said ‘My mom thinks you should come stay here tonight. It’s supposed to keep raining, and she doesn’t want you to be stuck there if it floods.’ I said okay, and I set things up on the counter and in chairs, thinking that if water did get in the building, it would only be a couple of inches and not a big deal. If I hadn’t have left when I did, I would have been sitting on my refrigerator because it would have been the only thing high enough to stay out of the water.”
Cottrell said the rebuilding process has been slow, but steady.
“We’ve finally been able to do the remodeling that we had been talking about. It’s too bad it had to be under these circumstances.”
Cottrell is having a “Grand Reopening” and “Seven Year Anniversary” celebrationg Nov. 18, 10 a.m. There will be snacks and refreshments, and everyone is welcome.
“I want to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers that have helped, not only my parents and I, but everyone in our tiny town get back on their feet. It’s truly amazing to see everyone come together.”