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Opening a Hair Salon in a Small Town in America

March 29, 2021 |   By Bi Jia, a Falun Dafa practitioner in the U.S.

(Minghui.org) I came to the United States in 2013 and decided to get my hairdresser’s license in 2016. I found a cosmetology school and was enrolled for only one day when the principal refunded my tuition because he thought my English was not good enough to pass the exam. He suggested that I go to a language school to study English for a couple of years before I returned.

I was already 48 at the time and couldn’t afford to wait several years to try again. I went to another school of cosmetology, but the same thing happened. The principal said that I would fail the exam because of my poor English. I pleaded with her to accept me, saying, “I don’t need you to be responsible and I will study hard.” So she reluctantly accepted me as an older student with a kindergarten level of spoken English.

It took me a year to finish the thick book covering hairdressing, beauty, nail care, the entire human body and chemistry, electricity, etc., and I got my hairdresser’s license.

The principal was very surprised. She said she’d never met such a smart and special student like me in her 20 years of running the school. She told me that she herself had to take the test seven times before she got her license. Many students had to take the test more than once before they passed. There are even people who failed the test many times and gave up. I know I passed because I practice Falun Dafa and Master Li, the founder of Falun Dafa, gave me wisdom. The principal wanted to keep me on at her school to tutor her students, but I politely declined.

Master said,

“Actually, the things you normally produce are already different from those of ordinary people, and if your skills are taken into account those things really aren't average.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting on Writing Music,” Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Writing Music and Creating Fine Art)

I interviewed with a large hair salon chain. The manager was amazed by my skills since I was a recent graduate. She said, “If you say you have five years of work experience, no one will doubt it.” She hired me on the spot. I spent the next six months working with different hairdressers to learn more and gain some experience.

In 2017, a customer told me that a hair salon in a small town was vacant. The town is surrounded by mountains and water and is considered historic. The location has such beautiful natural scenery that after 20 years of development, most of the residents who move there are senior white-collar workers. This was the only private hair salon in town and had operated for 110 years. After the most recent owner died three years ago, no one had stuck with the business.

I went there many times and finally met the landlords, a local couple in their 70s. They said, “You’re here at a good time. We’ve interviewed a lot of people who want to rent the shop, and you are the last one. Wait to hear from us.” I thought, “I am a cultivator and nothing happens by chance. I won’t get attached to it—I will just follow the course of nature.”

A week later, I got a call from the landlord: “If you want to rent the store, it’s yours.” It was incredible. I had only worked in the U.S. for six months and had no business experience; it all happened so suddenly.

The moment I opened the business, I knew that everything was arranged in an orderly manner. There were so many customers! And when they came in, I was instantly frozen; I felt like I’d seen them before, but I couldn’t remember where. I had never been to this town before, but their mannerisms, voices, and smiles were so familiar. I understood that they were people with whom I had a great predestined affinity.

There was another amazing thing. My husband and I had been trying to buy a house and looked at quite a few, but none of them worked out. Just a month after my salon opened, my husband came across a house for sale in this town. It turned out that the owner of the house was the last hairdresser who worked at the business I'd just bought. He’d died six years before and his wife decided to sell the house. But when she put it on the market and someone looked at it and was ready to pay, she regretted it and said she didn’t want to sell it after all, so she canceled the deal.

Three years passed. The month I opened my business, she tried to sell the house again and my husband saw it. The location and price of this house was perfect for us. When the owner learned that I was the current owner of the hair salon, she hugged me and cried, “So I was waiting for you! This house is sold to you!”

Afterwards, there were many people who said I was lucky. I understood that there is no such thing as coincidence for cultivators. All along the way, getting my hairdresser’s license, opening a store, and buying a house: this is my path of cultivation that Master has arranged for me to save people here, to assist Master to rectify the Fa, and to validate Falun Dafa.

Master said,

“… and you should try your best to do well everything you’re supposed to do at whatever job you have in society, you should be a good person wherever you are, and thus lead people in society to all say you’re a good person.” (Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003)

I decorated the store with Falun Dafa books, informational materials about the practice, and Shen Yun flyers. I play the music “Pudu” and “Jishi” on a loop. At first, there were only a few clients every day, but I served every one of them with all my heart.

I soon earned recognition, and more and more clients came every day. In less than three months, my landlord told me, “You know what? Word is spreading everywhere about how well you cut hair and that you’re an even better person!”

With the passage of time, my little salon has become famous, and there are endless clients every day. Many people come here in admiration; some drive for two or three hours, others come by ferry, and even the original barber of this shop who moved away introduced her customers to me. Every Christmas, my clients treat me like family, giving me cards, gifts, and family photos.

My customers are as young as a year old and up into their 90s. Among them are university professors, primary and secondary school principals, teachers, businessmen, judges, lawyers, police chiefs, and fire chiefs. There are even classmates of former President Trump, as well as employees and executives of major companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, and Amazon.

I can remember what almost every customer has told me about their family, job, and even what we talked about during their last haircut a month before. They are amazed by my memory and my communication skills. They say I’m young and that I look like I am 40 at most. In fact, I am in my early 50s.

I’m on my feet for seven to eight hours a day and clarify the truth to each client as I talk to them. After work, I participate in a phone-calling platform to make truth-clarification calls to China and then I take care of family chores. Although I work hard, I have a lot of energy. I say that all this comes from my practice of Falun Dafa. It is the practice of Falun Dafa that has given me a healthy body and so many incredible things.

Many customers write all kinds of positive comments on my Google and Facebook pages, saying that they have never met a hairdresser as good as me in their lives, that I am nice, that I give really good haircuts, and that my service is friendly, among other things. They even say that they will be my loyal customers for life.

Whenever someone new moves to town, they search the local Facebook group to ask where to get a good haircut. Many people direct them to my business.

My town is a famous tourist attraction. I meet tourists from all over the United States and around the world. I don’t miss a single person and I treasure this environment that Master has given me.

Over the past three years since I opened my business, I have kept Master’s teachings in mind:

“Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy.” (“Rationality,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)

I share the beauty of Falun Dafa with my clients and also pass on the news of Shen Yun’s performances around the world. Using my wisdom, I tell them about the persecution of Falun Dafa that is still happening in China, the evil nature of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and how my parents and I were illegally incarcerated in forced labor camps. When each customer leaves, they take Dafa materials with them.

Currently, I mainly tell my customers about the CCP’s cover-up of the CCP virus (coronavirus) and the catastrophe it has caused worldwide, distribute flyers on the movement to end the CCP, collect petition signatures, and sometimes show short videos. I use every opportunity to share more information with the kindhearted Americans who come into contact with me; they also share that information of their own accord.

On Halloween, the businesses in town were all handing out candy. People were coming and going that day, and I was handing out candy to children and truth-clarification materials to their parents. Some of them were shocked and in tears. Some asked, “How can I help you?” They also taught me about American traditions and the disaster that the CCP has brought to the world.

One high school history teacher told me that he has taught his students about the persecution of Falun Dafa in China many times; another judge always takes Dafa materials with him on his way out, saying he will show them to his colleagues; another high school teacher said, “Don’t be afraid. If the CCP really comes to trouble you, I can help you hide. This is your home. This town loves you! We need you!” An elderly customer who is a pharmacist looked at a flyer calling for an end to the CCP and gazed at me very solemnly and said, “I really respect you! Thank you for doing this!” And he asked to read a Dafa book. I lent him Falun Gong.

In December 2020, there were two customers, one with a broken finger and the other had just had knee replacement surgery and was on crutches. They signed a petition calling for an end to the CCP and learned the truth about the persecution. I gave them small lotus flowers and told them to sincerely recite the words “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” that were written on the flowers. I told them the words would bring them good fortune.

A month later when they came back for a haircut, they told me excitedly, “It was really amazing! When I said the words quietly, I felt a strong energy and I didn’t hurt anymore—and I recovered quickly. I will keep saying them.”

Due to the pandemic, many hair salons have been affected to varying degrees, and some even shut down permanently. But my small shop is doing better than ever, with new customers every day. I know that Master is sending them to me to hear the truth.

My business has grown so much so that I had to hire a second hairdresser. My new employee was the manager of the chain store where I worked for 13 years. He gave up his $5,000 retainer and came to my salon. He came in and said, “There’s good energy in this shop.” In just two months, he saw that I was different and said I was an icon to him as an American. Whether it was how well I cut hair, how quickly I worked, how I took care of business, or how I interacted with my clients, he was amazed. And what was even more incredible to him was that my turnover in one day alone was more than what two or three stylists in his past chain store could do. He is now reading Falun Gong.

One day out of courtesy, I asked him to play some light American music. But as soon as many customers walked in, they asked, “Where is my music?” referring to “Pudu” and “Jishi.” Many customers say that they come here not only because I give them good haircuts, but also because the place makes them feel good.

From a cultivation perspective, not only are my haircutting skills excellent, but as a practitioner, my body radiates positive energy, and this positive energy permeates everything I do.

Master said, “The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and harmonizes everything.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)

Those who come for haircuts can sense the beauty of Falun Dafa through my service.

An owner of an airplane parts business told me that he’d decided to sell his very good business and move to another state because the results of the U.S. election made him very sad. When he was leaving, he made sure we got each other’s contact information and said, “I really acknowledge your faith in Falun Dafa. Remember, whenever you pray (send forth righteous thoughts), take me with you, and I will be right beside you praying with you for justice and for the future of America!” I am really happy about the choice that people make after they understand the truth.

Occasionally, I meet Chinese people and I give them copies of the Nine Commentaries and The Ultimate Goal of Communism. They don’t expect that there are people practicing Falun Dafa in such a remote town in the United States, and they are surprised to find that we are not like what the evil CCP says we are. Some of them have understood the truth and agreed to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.

There are so many touching things that happen every day in my small hair salon that I can’t tell them all. My husband (an American) jokingly said, “This is not a hair salon, it is a Falun Dafa information store!” Many times when I was cutting hair, I saw passersby stopping to look at the flyers calling for an end to the CCP posted on my window. I immediately gave them the flyers and continued cutting hair. The client said jokingly, “You're so dedicated!”

Whenever I see my customers leave with truth-clarification materials in their hands and small lotus flowers, my heart is filled with infinite gratitude to Master!

All the people I come into contact with in my life and work are Westerners. Usually, I carry all kinds of Falun Dafa materials with me. Wherever I go, I spread the truth, whether it’s when I go shopping, fill my car with gas, or meet a dentist on the road.

One time, my husband was driving over the speed limit and got a ticket. We had to go to the courthouse, and as we entered, I gave a security officer a Falun Dafa flyer and an “End the CCP” flyer. When we finished and came out, the man greeted me very warmly and talked to me for a long time. He said he had read the information and had already signed the online petition. He also said that his wife was talking about learning Eastern meditation. When we left, my husband said to me jokingly, “This was not a waste of time!”

On Master’s birthday in 2020, when we shared with fellow practitioners on the telephone platform, we said we were grateful for Master’s compassionate salvation! We cherished our sacred destiny and promised to keep our Fa-study group going. I am grateful to Master for giving me the opportunity to cultivate in this special environment.

At this critical moment in the history of the Fa-rectification of the cosmos, I want to cherish every day more and cultivate myself solidly. No matter where I am, I will keep Dafa in my heart and never forget my mission. I will help more people understand the truth of Falun Dafa through my work.

The above is my cultivation experience over the past three years. If there is anything improper, please point it out with compassion.