As a small business owner, the lockdown closure was one of the toughest scenarios I’ve ever had to face.
The beauty industry was one of the hardest hit during this time, and as a specialist beauty therapist, I felt it was unfairly vilified by the government by being consistently referred to as “high risk”.
Beauty therapists have always had a good understanding of infection risk and control, yet it felt incredibly unfair that we were considered more unsafe than higher-risk locations such as pubs and social venues.
Our strict hygiene practices are something we have always taken great pride in at Heavenly Green. Being a CIDESCO graduate myself, (Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétology, an international Swiss-developed standard), it was drilled into me from my first day of beauty school that work station cleanliness was your number one priority.
During the period of time we were closed, I chose to undertake two nationally-accredited courses in understanding how Covid 19 affects a salon-specific environment and how best to work safely with its ongoing presence.
This proved incredibly helpful when updating my risk assessment for the salon, and to help put clients’ minds at ease as I was able to explain how our new hygiene measures directly reduced the risk of spreading the virus.
I wanted to be as informed as possible, so when it came to the time of re-opening I felt confident and able to provide a safe yet relaxed service to all.
The most important thing to me during the period of closure was to keep in contact with my clients, and to do my best to keep them in the loop with what was going on. I emailed regular updates with our progress and informed people that we were doing our best to get a date of reopening from the government.
As I live locally, I was able to offer a home delivery service of facial skincare products which I dropped in a socially distanced manner outside my client’s houses on my daily walks. The gratitude and looks of sheer joy when their products arrived gave me a real boost at such a difficult time, as I saw first hand how this little bit of normality really made people feel more positive.
My next goal was to revamp the salon. I took it upon myself to re-paint and re-work the whole area inside to make it more socially-distanced and look brighter and fresher. I poured all the love for my business into redecorating the space, and all of those years of painting people’s nails paid off as I started painting the walls!
When we finally got the go ahead to reopen on 13th July, I couldn’t help but burst into tears of happiness! What felt like this never-ending journey had finally taken a turn and it was now the real hard work could begin.
After sending the salon re-opening email listing all our increased hygiene procedures and new salon protocols, the diary was fully booked for the first day within 2 hours!
Shortly after we were fully booked for the following week and the bookings are still coming in thick and fast.
Salon life is still not the same as it was before lockdown, and I can’t imagine it will be for some time. The general feeling is still of that of uncertainty, and instead of my clients being greeted with a big smile, it’s hidden by my visor and face mask, but the happiness behind my eyes says it all.
We are proud and grateful to be a business that has survived a period of 4 months of closure. We are delighted to be back open and feel privileged that our clients remained so loyal and supportive throughout. Kew is such a unique and wonderful community we are so happy to be a part of and we are looking forward now, to a brighter and better 2021.