Wednesday 30 June 2021

Third Time's A Charm?

So I realize it's been One Year since my last blog entry.  Let that sink in.  

Three Covid-19 lockdowns later, personal care services are allowed to reopen in Stage 2 today in Ontario. 

Not gonna lie, it's been a bit of a shit show for the past 15 months, with my studio able to be open for 7 of them.  My friends in Toronto and Peel?  Not so lucky, they've been shut down for the last 7 months in a row.  They get to reopen today, too.  Capacity limits, of course.  No services that require the face mask to be removed.  But we all get to breathe just a little easier today.

So friends, wherever you are, be the perfect guest when you're finally able to book your long-overdue appointment to pamper yourself.   Your service provider might be the tiniest bit nervous but hopes it doesn't show.  Opening day jitters might result in delays, overbooking, underbooking and maybe things not running as smoothly as you remember.  Relax and know it will all work itself out by your next visit.  

We want to wow you with our expertise when you come back.  We also want to remind you we haven't had a paycheque in months, while many of our clients have not had to experience this kind of stress.  Be kind.  Be patient.  Be gracious.  Be understanding.  But most of all, be as excited to see us as we are to see you!

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Covid-19 Protocols in the Studio

In preparation for reopening, I'm scouring my industry and public health websites daily for guidance  on how Personal Services Settings are going to proceed with Covid-19 protocols and best practices in place.  I'm excited to write this post and share with you, dear reader, because it means that I'm one step closer to opening!

Here's what I do know.  It's going to be a little different going forward in the studio, but rest assured you're still going to leave with the gorgeous nails you've come to know and love!!   Here are some of the protocols that are going to be in place for awhile (hopefully not too long, but as long as it takes).    Keep in mind my business is in my home therefore I need to be very protective of my family.  

  • Masks will be required to be worn by both clients and myself.  If you arrive without one I have a limited supply of one-use disposable masks available at a cost of $5 each.  I strongly recommend you bring your own as I don't have unlimited resources of masks or funds to purchase them. 
  • A travel and health screening will be conducted at each appointment (a series of questions with yes/no answers)
  • Cell-phone use will be strictly limited to emergencies only.  Cell phones should remain in your purse or pocket and not on the nail desk.  
  • Beverages will not be allowed in the studio; bottled water is the exception. 
  • Cashless payments will be encouraged.  Cash will continue to be accepted but must be exact-change only.  Let me know if you are paying with cash before you reach into your wallet.  
  • Clients need to arrive at exactly their appointment time in order to accommodate additional sanitation and disinfection procedures that will be mandatory between clients.  If you arrive early please remain in your vehicle.
  • Appointments will be spaced further apart to allow for additional sanitation and disinfection.  This will result in fewer appointments available per day.   
  • Nail appointments will be scheduled first.  Once all clients cycle through their first nail appointment, pedicure appointments may be scheduled.  At this time, double appointments (manicures and pedicures) are not being considered due to the longer length of appointment and the requirement to wear a mask the entire time. 
  • Clients who are ill with cold or flu-like symptoms or who have traveled (as long as travel restrictions are still in place) and not self-isolated for 14 days will be asked to cancel or reschedule their appointments.  No exceptions.  There will be no penalties for late cancellations if you are unwell.  

Here are some things I'm doing in the studio and elsewhere to ensure our mutual protection and safety:  

  • Wear PPE for each appointment as per best practices/OSHA, Province of Ontario, Durham Region Health Department.  This includes such items as masks, gloves, face shields, safety glasses, and aprons which are changed and/or discarded after each appointment. 
  • Sanitize and disinfect all  high-touch surfaces, work surfaces, chairs, LED lights, washroom, doorknobs, Point of Sale equipment between clients and the end of each work day.
  • Guest client chairs will have decorative coverings removed in order to completely sanitize and disinfect between clients.
  • Powder room will be off-limits to my family, available for clients only, and high-touch surfaces will be sanitized and disinfected between clients.
  • Remove all unnecessary salon decorations, decor, magazines, and displays to reduce contact points. 
  • High-touch items such as colour swatches will be available to view only.  I will hold them for you to make a selection.
  • HEPA air filter to remove 99% of pollen, bacteria and viruses.
  • No new clients at this time.  I know and trust all of you, and I also know I can count on all of you to protect each other.
  • If I or anybody in my family is feeling unwell, or show any symptoms of Covid-19 I'll clearly be cancelling all upcoming appointments.  
  • I'll do my part to stay home, social distance, and stay healthy.  I limit my outside exposure to a trip to get groceries at Longo's (where they make everyone wear a mask) 3 times a month.    

I'll continue to update this page as new requirements are announced or I think of something else.  

Stay safe and I am so looking forward to seeing everyone soon!  

June 2020  

Thursday 28 May 2020

How a Virus is Destroying the Beauty Industry

I totally realize it's been THREE years !! since my last blog post.  Wow.  I've been busy teaching, mentoring and designing beautiful nails for my clients.  I was living the life, creating the perfect balance between business and leisure.  All was good.

And then Covid-19 happened.  

My income plummeted to zero in a matter of days.  I shut down my studio before the Durham Region public health order was issued.  All of my education classes from March through to May were cancelled.    I am relying on CERB to get me through to the other side.  My business does not qualify for any other government program, I don't have enough expenses to warrant CEBA, and I don't pay commercial rent.  

As if that weren't enough, my father-in-law passed away from lung cancer the end of March.  I was petrified of passing Covid-19 on to him.  He did not contract it thankfully.  

I'm one of the fortunate ones.   I'm home-based, my business expenses are very low, and I can get by.  There are many other beauty service providers who won't be so lucky.  

Consider the salon who has chair rentals - with no rent coming in from the stylists who rent those chairs to pay for their commercial rental space.  Or the estheticians who rent a room, or the nail techs who rent a table.  Zero, zilch, nada.   Do the salon owners keep paying their rent?  What about utilities, business insurance?  Will their landlords help them out with the federal rent subsidy?  How long do you throw good money after bad, when there is no end in sight? 

All of those lash artists, brow specialists, microbladers, permanent makeup artists, the waxers, nail artists, hairdressers, makeup artists,  aren't working right now because the Ontario government has told us to shut down (rightly so) and to do our part to flatten the curve.  Stay home.  Wear a mask.  Stay 6 feet apart.  How long do you think we can survive without an income?  Much of this employment is considered precarious.  Some of it is considered gig work.  Many are not actually employees at all, but "independent contractors" which is a whole other kettle of worms.  No EI deductions (therefore no EI eligibility).  Stuck between a rock and a hard place is an understatement.  Fallen through the cracks more like it.  Many of these artists will also rely on childcare in order to return to work, and that hasn't been addressed yet either.  

For those of you reading this far, I will be fine.  I'm sourcing PPE, additional disinfectant, and putting plans in place to be ready to reopen once I'm told I can.  It will be different in my studio, for sure.  Things will look....different.  The nails will be the same, same products, same process and hopefully same happy times with my lovely guests.   Am I nervous?  Yes.  My business is in my home, of course I'm nervous.  But I'm smart and I'm resourceful and I will take every precaution to keep myself, my family and my guests safe.  

But I wonder about many of my colleagues in the beauty industry, who have decided the stress of it all is just not worth going back to something they love.  They are torn between wanting to continue with something they are so passionate about, but nervous and wary based on their own personal circumstances.  The longer we are unable to work, the longer we have to worry and fret about everything.  Some will be forced to quit and find other work to pay their bills.  Some will lose their businesses.  Some will be unable to work at all due to the stress of everything.  

So to anybody who is a client, a future client, a wanna-be client or a client of somebody else's - please be understanding, patient and kind to your service providers once we can reopen.  We feel abandoned, misunderstood, and maligned.  We don't understand why some businesses have been allowed to reopen and we can't.  We understand the nature of our work brings us face-to-face with our clients, or in some cases within that magic 6-feet radius.  We get that.  But we are also well-trained in sanitation, disinfection and best practices within our industry.  We will be well-prepared with PPE (what little there is, has skyrocketed in price since the pandemic began).  Don't be surprised if there are price increases, or a PPE surcharge.  Don't be surprised when you are required to bring your own mask to your service, or pay for a disposable one-use mask to wear at the salon.  We are going to be required to do more to keep everyone safe, and that's not going to be free.   Most service providers will have no choice but to see fewer people per day to ensure the premises are well disinfected between clients.   Hair stylists for example, can stack clients in their salon (basically working on two people at a time - doing a cut on one client while a colour is processing on another).  This will be pretty much impossible now, because a stylist would need to change their PPE every time they approach a different client.  There will also be empty stations to ensure physical distancing can take place.  (I'm not a hair stylist nor do I play one on TV, I am just thinking about how salons are typically run).  So all that to say, everyone who makes it through, is going to be making a lot less money. So be kind.  

We want to get back to work, doing what we love, while we still can.  Nobody knows when this will end.  We're all in this together and we feel the love from everyone who appreciates us.  We can't wait to welcome our guests back safely!  

Stay safe,

Friday 26 May 2017

The Downside of Success

It's been far too long since my last blog post, and life has been busy and hectic as it is for everyone these days.  We're impatiently waiting for summer to arrive, and everyone is getting ready for sandal season.   My phone is ringing off the hook with new clients anxious to book an appointment.

And there's the thing.  My availability is running out.  The one thing that every personal services provider yearns for and dreads at the same time.  A full book.   I am running out of room.  Yes, its' a great problem to have, and I have the best long-term clients a girl could ask for (yes, every one of you!).  But I simply have no more room for new clients on evenings and weekends at the moment.    

If you are a potential new client and you are reading this, I do have room for you if you are able to come Tuesday - Friday during the day.   So feel free to hit the Book Now button and check out my calendar to see if something works for you.  If you are looking to become a long-term client and you need a regular evening or weekend appointment, please click here to go to the Contact page and send me a message.  I can include you on my waiting list and contact you when I have an opening that works with your schedule.  

If this situation changes, I'll be back to edit this post.  Thank you to everyone who has made my business everything I could have hoped for :) 

Warm Regards,

Friday 15 July 2016

From Fear......To Here!

Today's blog post brings such exciting news!  I've recently travelled to beautiful Gatlinburg Tennessee to attend an LCN Barefoot Corrective Toenail Reconstruction class.  What exactly does that mean?

It means you no longer have to suffer with missing or unsightly toenails!  I've been doing the odd toenail reconstruction with acrylic for years.  The problem with acrylic is that it is just too hard a material to be placing on toenails because it's not flexible enough to bend and flex with your foot as you walk.  

LCN Barefoot is a product developed specifically for toenails (as it's name implies). "Barefoot contains the ingredient Piroctone Olimine, a proven anti-mykotic substance that is time-released to keep working, even after the product is cured.  Due to the flexibility of Barefoot the product adjusts to the movements of the nails and feet, thus feeling completely comfortable and natural."   

This is the same product used in doctors' offices under the name Keryflex (Google it).   I am charging a fraction of the price to provide you with safe, beautiful toenail extensions, done in the privacy of my studio AND with the option of a beautiful pedicure to show off your stunning new toenails.  

But don't just take my word for it - here is a recent transformation I did in on this client's big toenails in the studio just two days after returning from my class. 

If you'd like to book an appointment for this service, first please email me a clear photo of your toenail(s) so that I can determine whether you are a candidate for the service or whether you should see a doctor for clearance first.  Once you receive the go-ahead from me,  you may book the Corrective Toenail Reconstruction service online under the Book Now button on my website.  

Ongoing maintenance appointments will be required and the frequency will depend on how fast the nail grows (some nails do not grow at all).  Please note this is a temporary cosmetic solution and is not meant to permanently replace the nail.  

I'm always dedicated to enhancing your natural beauty and I'm excited to be able to offer this option for your feet!  

July 2016

Saturday 28 May 2016

100 Years of Fashion: Nails ★

I thought it might be interesting to post this quick visual trip through the last 100 years of nail trends.  Notice how they've come back around over the years.....some great, some, well, not so flattering (that 80's square nail!)

There's a reason nails are meant to be shaped to flatter your hands.  Nail professionals like myself are trained to offer options that enhance your natural beauty.  Next time you're in the salon, try a new shape like a rounded square, or even an oval or almond nail.  I send you home with your file anyway, so if you find you absolutely can't handle it, you know what to do!  

Post your comments and let me know which decade speaks to you!

Till next time,

Saturday 14 May 2016

Know Before You Go!

Did you know that on June 1st, 2016, Durham Region Health Department will launch the new Personal Services Settings Inspection Disclosure Program called Know Before You Go Durham.  

As personal services establishments come up for annual inspection in 2016, they will be issued one of these signs which must be displayed at the entrance to the business, clearly visible to members of the public.  During the second phase of the Disclosure Program, inspection results will also be posted online for viewing by the general public.

Examples of Personal Services Settings include:
  • hairdressing and barbering
  • manicures and pedicures
  • tattooing and micropigmentation
  • body piercing and ear lobe piercing
  • massage and tanning
  • electrolysis and laser hair removal
  • various esthetic services

To briefly summarize what each colour-coded sign means:

  • Green means there is significant compliance with Ontario's Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices for Personal Services Settings as of the inspection date noted on the sign.  
  • Yellow means there is significant non-compliance with Ontario's Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices for Personal Services Settings as of the inspection date noted on the sign.  
  • Red means the premises are CLOSED and that the Public Health Inspector is of the opinion that an immediate health hazard exists. 
For more detailed information on this program please visit the Durham Region Health website.  

All persons in Durham Region who regularly obtain the services listed above should be aware of the new signage which will become mandatory June 1, 2016 (once the 2016 premises inspection takes place) in all Personal Services Settings, including home-based businesses.