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Former employees and brides claim a Colorado salon owner scammed them

Former employees and brides claim an Estes Park salon owner scammed them
Former employees and brides claim an Estes Park salon owner scammed them 04:13

Estes Park in Colorado is a top destination for couples to tie the knot. But some brides say the woman they hired to make them feel their best on their big day scammed them.

"What bride doesn't want to be the prettiest thing that your partner has seen as you're walking toward them?" said Blair Loose.

The Minneapolis bride chose Estes Park for her fairytale wedding, and Glow Bridal owner Lorie Boll Cooper as her fairy godmother.

"Everything was glitz and glamour and Lorie actually referred to herself as the fairy godmother for Estes Park," said former Glow makeup artist and nail tech Lisa Hennig.

The site of the former Glow Bridal salon in Estes Park.  CBS

In April 2023, Loose booked a bridal package, including hair, makeup, and nails, for herself, her stepdaughter, and two nieces.

"I paid my deposit. I got an email that everything was booked and that was the last that I heard from her," said Loose.

After driving to Colorado and arriving in Estes Park, Loose stopped by the salon the day before her August 10 wedding.

"I walked into the salon and was like, 'Hi,' super excited, obviously. It's like 12 hours before our wedding. I explained who I was and was immediately met with, 'Oh no, Glow doesn't exist anymore. We're a different owner.' I said, 'This is all booked. I'm showing up tomorrow at 9 a.m. with the girls. What do I do?' and they're like, 'No, you're not. We don't offer those services,'" said Loose.

Shocked, Loose begged employees for help.

"I immediately burst into tears in the lobby of the salon, like full-on crying," said Loose.

"It was horrible to have to tell these people, 'I'm so sorry, someone took your money, and we didn't even know you were gonna be here, and we can't perform the services you need,'" said Hennig.

Lisa Hennig and Katie Krom previously worked at Glow and stayed on at the new salon.

"You're sad for them while this is all happening, as your world is falling apart too. And people are coming and crying, and you can't fix it. It was so bad. It was so bad," said former Glow hairstylist Katie Krom.

They say they were left to pick up the pieces last July when Cooper abruptly sold the business. The business's phone number was changed, and the scheduling system with bride booking and contact information was lost.

"We had no phone numbers, and people started showing up and yelling at us and threatening to sue us because we were the same people," said Hennig.

The employees say Cooper also left without paying them.

"I asked her, 'Where's my paycheck?' and she said, 'I can't pay you right now.' I said, 'When can you pay me?' and she started to cry and yell," said Hennig.

Since then, they haven't been able to contact her. They say it's not the first time payroll was an issue at Glow.

"Employees asking on payday, 'Did you get paid? Did you get paid?'" said Hennig.

When employees would inquire about pay, they say they were met with bargaining and excuses from Cooper.

"'Oh, something happened. It must have been the holiday, or it must have not gone through electronically, or weddings didn't pay.' 'If you come to work, I'll give you $200 cash. I'll send you $400 on Venmo. I'll Cash App you this.' It was always, 'Let's make a deal,'" said Hennig.

Both women say Cooper still owes them nearly $2,000 each.

"I'm a single mom, and paycheck to paycheck is kind of how I live," said Krom.

But what caused Cooper to leave so abruptly? Cooper tells me she became legally blind as a result of health problems.

However according to legal documents, in May 2023, Cooper defaulted on payments to the woman she bought the salon from. To avoid foreclosure, Cooper returned the salon to the seller.

When Cooper left in August, another woman took over the business for just over a month with plans to purchase it and the client book from the seller.

That woman tells me Cooper kept the deposits and contracts for 65 upcoming weddings, so she decided not to purchase the salon. She says she signed an "intent to purchase" but never signed a contract or took over responsibility for bridal contracts.

In August, the original seller says she sold the assets to a new business that did not purchase the contracts.

Cooper admits she kept the deposits but says the responsibility for paying employees and fulfilling those contracts fell on the woman who ran the business in the interim.

She also says she "worked with" 19 brides to get refunds by disputing the charge through their credit card company.

Cooper shared the following statement: "The new owner... took over all existing contracts immediately. In order for a smooth transition and to eliminate stress and panic, we agreed to not notify clients until the new owner had taken over and could introduce herself as someone professional and competent for the services in which they had hired the salon for."

But no one told Loose and potentially dozens of other brides.

"How could you not have let us know this and at least given me some chance to find something else?" said Loose.

Loose spent the day before her wedding calling any salon she could find.

"Frantically Googling and calling salons and every salon I spoke to, I was just crying, saying, 'My wedding is tomorrow. Is there anything we can do?' and I kept getting nos," said Loose.

Eventually, she found a stylist in Boulder who drove to Estes and helped her look beautiful on her wedding day.

"Once we got in the park, it was everything I could have dreamed of. My two sons walked me up to my husband," said Loose.

But she never got back her $100 deposit or the bridal experience she wanted.

"It's just something that just feels like an injustice to me. This is your day. This is your moment. To have someone come in and ruin that unapologetically for me is unequivocally cruel," said Loose.

Court records show 11 civil judgments against Cooper. Another former Glow employee tells CBS Colorado she filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State.

She says she is no longer operating any salon or bridal business. But the Secretary of State's website shows an active trade name for "Glow Bridal and Wedding Services" registered under her name. Her LinkedIn lists her as co-owner of "Marry Me in Colorado," an officiant business run by Cooper's husband.

"I really hope that something's done about the things she's done and the people she's hurt," said Krom.

Cooper initially agreed to an interview, then changed her mind on the day of. She was unable to provide us with any documentation proving she properly paid employees or refunded brides. But she maintains the responsibility for those contracts was on the woman who took over the business after she left.

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