From the End to a New Beginning | Cara Edwards
With some salons and wax centers opening up across the country, there are tons of questions buzzing around about this "new normal" and how to properly keep yourself and your customers safe.
We interviewed waxing specialist Cara Edwards, owner of Edwards Aesthetics and Starpil Ambassador. Cara was forced to close shop on her birthday March 23rd and was faced with the uncertainty of her business's future.
Five weeks later, Cara was one of the first wave of estheticians in the country given the ok by state officials to reopen under new restrictions. Let's take a look at her journey from the end to a new beginning.
- What did it mean for you to have to close your doors?
It was my birthday on that day, March 23rd, and it felt like chaos. By offering “personal services”, I was a danger to others, and my business was defined as non-essential.
Everything you’ve worked so hard for, the sacrifices you’ve made, the sweat you’ve poured, the countless hours felt as if they didn't matter. I didn’t acknowledge my birthday on the day I closed. I wasn’t going to acknowledge it all even though everyone else was. It just didn’t feel like a day for/worth celebrating. Until a few days later I open my messages and heard the most beautiful voice singing Happy Birthday with smiling faces and waving hands.
It was the Starpil Wax team thinking of me during their daily morning ZOOM meeting. At that moment, two days after my closing, two days after my birthday, in between meltdowns, it was a good day to celebrate my birthday!
As the days progressed, I began to understand the severity of the pandemic. To find a balance between work and home life, I found myself a few times more than I would like to admit, going back to the negative thinking of the possible future of my business. Isolating myself, nothing but silence.
This time allowed me time to reflect reinvent myself. I learned a new waxing technique with a product I had never used before, engaged with other professionals, and updated my online content with new pictures and videos.
It was uncomfortable, but being pushed into something that is out of our usual is what usually builds our character... makes us stronger. It for sure makes for a better story later on in time.
- How did you pass the time while closed and what motivated you knowing that you were bound by local law?
Staying home... not working... I wasn’t prepared and had to get creative. I decided I needed to be challenged to fully distract myself.
What better way to do that than by using a product I’d never used and a type of wax that I particularity didn’t fancy?
I had the time to fully dedicate to trying the product, I had the time and unlimited resources to help me if I needed help with my technique and time to perfect it while forming my overall opinion.
Cara's full review and demonstration can be found at the end of the blog.
I needed projects that were going to challenge me, yet be realistic. Projects that would take me a period of time to complete so I could have a stopping point each day and have something to look forward to the following day. After completing each project I would have a deep feeling of accomplishment, appreciation, and pride for learning something new.
I never thought that by continuously putting myself in a frame of mind of the unknown... the unfamiliar would be what gave me my strength back.
- What state requirements were put in place for you before reopening?
Oklahoma’s Governor, Stitt, listed Personal Services to be apart of Phase 1 and opened Oklahoma’s 77 counties to Phase 1 on April 24th. However, Oklahoma City Mayor, Holt, stated that personal services would stay closed until May 1st.
You could imagine my frustration as my practice is owned and operated solely by me.
To summarize some of the requirements as I feel like a lot of states are requiring the same such as the following:
- Closed waiting rooms- clients waiting in their car until their appt time. I will personally open and close/lock the door for my client.
- Clients to wash hands as well as the licensee
- Hand sanitizer available in high traffic locations
- Porous fabrics are protected with wrap. I personally used cling wrap and used a non-porous plastic container box to place on a chair for my clients' clothes and shoes.
- Closing of the snacks/coffee stations.
- Removal of magazines and literature
- Removal of soft decor
- Licensees are required to wear a mask
- Clients ‘should’ wear a mask- I am not forcing a client to wear a mask if he/she chooses not too. I am fully aware wearing a mask can pose a mental and/or physical health risk for some.
- Clients are encouraged to engage in no-touch transactions if necessary.
- What extra precautions are you taking in your salon to operate post-quarantine?
- I use a barrier film for all products I touch for each client. This is how I fill my time during the contact time. I replace each barrier film I touched as well as wiping down the hard surfaces.
- I use clear disposable bottle bags for my pump bottles.
- I placed a waterproof pad over my half-moon pillow and wrap it up. Then use a disposable waterproof pad for each client.
- I disinfect every hard surface that was touched in between clients, leaving the recommended contact time for disinfection.
- What advice do you have for those who still haven’t been allowed back to work?
Having amazing people next to me (near and far), extending their knowledge, and their support, helped me along the way find answers to questions when the time was sensitive... I could go on and on but my point is, whatever it is that’s helping you cope with this difficult time make sure it is constructive, challenging, rewarding, and you have a support system like no other.
When you do return to work, you will walk in the door with the confidence and reassurance that you and your business just overcame one of the most economic disasters of our time. YOU overcame in.
No more worrying about the slow months,off-seasons, post-holidays, etc... you fought your way through a pandemic. There was something to be learned through all this and strength was gained. Don’t lose it and keep challenging yourself.