26 Sep Salons Are A Safe Space
On June 23, 2020, Shakti Salons charted new territory for the salon industry.
We opened our salon at 50-percent capacity—with new safety protocols in place—after a three-month closure. Salons are a safe space to return to.
“Our salon is a safe place to work in and do business with.” – Lonny McLaughlin
Over the last week, I realized we hadn’t written a blog about what Shakti has done to create a safe space within our salon for our guests to return to. So much has happened in our first 90 days of business since re-opening in June, but I believe the following information will give you an idea of what we did, as a team, to get ready to welcome you back and to show you that salons are a safe place to return to.
First, we did our homework and research. We studied the CDC and OSHA guidelines, talked to medical professionals and salon owners in other states that were planning to re-open. Second, we decided early on that we wouldn’t open until we had everything in place to feel safe and ensure the safety of our guests.
After 8 weeks of careful planning, hard work and dedication of our Management Team (Andy, Kellie, Margie and Stephen), everything fell into place and we were confident we could open safely.
We’re still learning and adjusting, but we continue to go above and beyond the minimum requirements to ensure salon safety for everyone. And our customers rave about going “the extra mile” to ensure their safety.
PROTOCOLS FOR CREATING A SAFE SPACE
Before re-opening, we took on a few things to get the team ready to go:
- Each service provider was part of a week-long training with additional practice before interacting with guests.
- In-house videos were created. This allowed guests to know what to expect and feel comfortable when they arrived at the salon.
- Floor stickers were added for traffic flow and social distancing.
- Sanitized, cleaned and disinfected everything.
As we re-opened:
- The salon re-opened at 50% capacity with plexiglass “sneeze guard” dividers in key areas.
- We did no shampooing or blow-dries for the first 30 days.
- Staff and guests wear masks, and when in close contact, face shields.
- Mask wearing, hand washing, sanitization, and social distancing are strictly enforced.
- Guest’s temperatures are taken upon entry and hand sanitizer is everywhere in the salon.
- Stations and instruments are sanitized between every guest.
- We provide call-ahead, curbside pick up for Aveda product purchases.
All of these measures allow us to make the salon a safe space. Staying at 50 percent capacity is also helpful so Shakti’s management team can cope with timing the new protocols. With fewer team members and guests in-house, we’ve had the time to figure it all out.
We also strongly encourage our guests to use our Pocket Salon App to check-in, schedule, purchase Aveda products and reschedule their next appointment. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The new systems are tedious and outside the box, but necessary.
“We miss handshakes and hugging our guests the way we used to, but everyone is grateful that we’re open. The support and understanding we’ve received has kept us going.”
SAFETY FIRST – ZERO CASES OF COVID-19
As a major accomplishment of our careful planning and work, in our first 90 days back in business, we have performed 4709 guest services. We haven’t had a single case of COVID-19 transmission from a guest to an employee, employee to client, or to another staff member. Many salons have done the work to protect guests, their employees and communities. Unfortunately, some have not. Here at Shakti, I’m confident we are continuing to ensure a safe workplace. We’ve adapted; we wear masks, jobs have been saved, and our business is growing and attracting new customers. The bottom line is the systems are working and our salon is a safe space to work in and do business with.
NAVIGATING NEW CHALLENGES FOR SALON SAFETY
Although we were prepared for our guests arriving and keeping our staff safe, we’ve had to battle another problem we weren’t expecting — last-minute cancelations and “no-shows.”
Cancelations and no-shows make business very difficult. When someone cancels last minute or doesn’t show up, we can’t fill the reservation time. The business loss forces us to reduce our employees’ working hours and hurts everyone.
I’m not sure if you know this, but Shakti does have a cancellation policy listed on our website but we never had to enforce it. However, beginning in October, this policy will be re-established with all guests. Our loyal customers completely understand and support this change. Our job now is to inform new guests of this policy to help everyone involved.
To turn last minute cancelations into a positive, Shakti has added a “Last Minute Appointments” button on our website. These last-minute openings aren’t always available, but if they are, you’ll find services offered at a reduced rate, which may help us recover as we continue to get busier and the pandemic gets a little easier to handle for all of us.
And, very soon you’ll see an update called: ‘Our New Normal.’ We’ll have that listed prominently on our website so you can click the link and learn about our new policies. For now, you can view the current policies here.
Our #1 goal is to stay healthy and stay in business.
That means we’re going full speed ahead. Shakti has been in the Kingston community for 30 years, through recessions and 9/11. While some salons and small businesses are closing, our confidence about the future comes from our last 3 successful years and an outstanding training program that’s in full swing. Back with us is Stephen Falvo, a 27-year industry veteran, Aveda National Educator and now Shakti’s Director of Education. He’s excited to grow Shakti and continue the “Shakti Magic” we created so many years ago. Tap here to find out more about Stephen and his plans for Shakti.
We’re learning to weather the storm.
We’ve learned to adapt, we’re flexible and upped our game to communicate fully with our customers and team. Although this is the most challenging time we’ve ever had in the history of Shakti Salons, we’re thankful and appreciative of you, our guests, who have weathered the storms with us through these challenging times.
The most important message I want to get across, especially to our loyal “Shakti Friends and Family,” is salons are a safe space for stylists and guests alike. That you can count on.
If you have any concerns or would like to chat more about our protocols feel free to call the salon any time. We’re here for you.