SPANISH-LANGUAGE television is on, barely audible above the blare of blow dryers and the din of women animatedly talking, a typical afternoon at Marlen Beauty Salon in East Boston. The proprietor, Marlen Alvarez, is the ultimate multitasker — on the phone, attending to clients, supervising her employees, all at once. She is asked if her boyfriend guides her in making business decisions.
“Nope! In fact, I’m the one that has helped him!” she says, causing the women to burst out in laughter.