I am so grateful to work in this truly amazing and rewarding profession. Last week was opening week, and I am just in awe of all the positive feedback I've been seeing all over social media. You guys are incredible, having face your uncertainty and trekking through it like rock stars. It has only just begun, there will be many more hurdles to jump over and obstacles we inevitably will face. However, it's evidently clear that this pandemic will not break us. If anything, I believe we will come out of it stronger, better and much more prepared than we ever were, when we first began this journey.
Our world was turned upside down when we were all told to temporarily shut down. Our industry, was among the top 10 of businesses that had suffered the most, when this pandemic hit. We had to quickly think of ways to survive, in order to make a living. People were angry, confused, overwhelmed, stressed and the list goes on. The first priority was making sure everyone was safe and comfortable returning to work, secondly, having adequate and proper protective attire to perform our jobs to the best of our ability, lastly, reopening our doors to a completely different setting, following safety protocols and guidelines mandated by our state.
If you just sit back and let all three sink in for a moment, these incredibly difficult decisions we had to face, were to save our industry from crumbling at our very feet. Can you imagine, all that hard work into building your dreams and success, and then to see it gone within a matter of weeks? That's a scary thought. Here's the truth though, it didn't...you should be so proud of your accomplishments, because you persevered through it all. Nothing in life is given to you on a silver platter, or however that phrase interprets. Everything we have, everything we built, everything we worked for was because we put in the time, sweat and tears into creating a business we all love.
Today, I wanted to acknowledge a friend and fellow colleague of mine, Voula's perspective on how her week began and ended, while shops in Connecticut were beginning to open. I met Voula in the beginning of March at a Bridal Design class, taught by Alison Valsamis in Plantsville, CT. I remember sitting in my chair, waiting for class to begin and I saw her walking in out of the corner of my eye. I didn't know anyone there, and I was a tad bit nervous. Voula sat in the empty chair to the right of me, and immediately introduced herself. We hit it off right from the start. I'm glad she broke the ice first, we both felt comfortable afterwards. Voula owns a salon in Waterbury, CT, called Hairbangers Salon. I'm so thankful for her insight and wanted to share her thoughts with you. She truly is a gem of a stylists, and I'm glad to have met her this year!
Wow, I'm literally blown away by all the support and encouragement our clients gave us when we finally opened our doors, June 1st. I felt like this week just flew right by. On Monday, when I opened my shop, after being closed for a little over two months, it felt so good to get back to work. I've been working around the clock to try and schedule everyone back into our books, and honestly, that took up most of our time. We finally got through to everyone, and successfully booked appointments for all our guests, affected during the shut down.
Since Monday, I've been working close to 11 hour days, while making sure to take breaks in between and hydrate, while clients were processing. As stated in the guidelines, no double booking of clients were allowed, (which truly helped) because it allowed us to properly clean everything before and after our guests arrived. As the days went on, my staff and I had a good rhythm in place and a consistent flow throughout the salon. We got more comfortable checking clients in and everyone seemed to be in good spirits.
We went from being nervous Nelly's at the beginning of the week, to gaining our confidence back, working behind the chair in just a few short days. We were decked out in our finest PPE, from head to toe of course, masks, face shields, aprons, gloves, capes, etc. In a way we felt a sense of normalcy, despite our new reality. It was a good feeling just being able to walk through our salon doors, creating art once again!
Our employees, including myself are just happy we're all together working, laughing, and being with our clients. I just want to say, best of luck to all the salons opening in the next few days. It was hard at first, but you learn to overcome your fears, as the days roll on by. I just have this to say, remember to take breaks when you need them, because you're going to need them. I wish you all success, as we continue to work through these crazy times. Good luck, everyone!