Customer Leaves $2,500 Tip for Hairstylist & Another $3,300 for Staff

Before you say anything, this news isn’t about a celebrity hairstylist where prices come with more zeros on the back. This is the story of Illsia Novotny. Novotny, an ordinary hairstylist at Floyd’s 99 barbershop at the University of Denver, had a somewhat unusual encounter with a walk-in customer who left a total of $5,800 in tips for her and the entire staff.

The Kindness of a Single Customer

Novotny wasn’t even scheduled to work on Saturday, but she was at the salon nonetheless. At the end of a busy day, she welcomed a customer who would ultimately leave her in tears the second he left the barbershop. The client was a man who has just moved from Chicago to Denver, and they both chatted about their common love for the Chicago Cubs. It’s no secret to anyone that the pandemic left many workers like Illsia out of employment with questionable income.

A split image with a woman wearing a face mask on the left, and a closeup shot of a receipt
Customer Leaves $2,500 Tip for Hairstylist & Another $3,300 for Staff

As she was styling his hair, they talked about these struggles and how it has affected workers. There was nothing out of the ordinary, until the moment he stopped at the door as he was exiting the salon to tell her there was no mistake with the amount of money he had paid. He left, and Novotny’s coworkers rushed over to tell her the man had left a $2,500 tip for her. He also left $1,000 for the general manager, $500 for the receptionist, and another $1,800 for the other 18 employees.

The Multiplied Effect of Caring

Tip left on a metal tray
Customer Leaves $2,500 Tip for Hairstylist & Another $3,300 for Staff

Novotny is a single mom, and the pandemic really pulled the rug from under her feet. The same happened to many others like her. The good thing is that there are people who, just like that anonymous customer, keep supporting service workers. They leave large tips for restaurant orders like Tyler Perry, who left a total of $21,000 to help 42 out-of-work servers. This just proves that hardships tend to bring out the best in people.