We talked to: Glow Beauty Bar

We talked to Glow Beauty Bar

We recently had a lovely conversation with Kate Jaksik of Glow Beauty Bar. Check out our interview to see what she had to say and learn more about her business!

How are things going overall for the business in these uncertain times?

I would say okay. It’s quite varied and inconsistent. People were excited in the beginning, as they had been trapped in their houses for three months, and were eager to get pampered, have their hair done, have a waxing appointment. Then things slowed down a bit. Quite a few of my regulars have been nervous about leaving their homes, so I’ve lost them for the time being. Surprisingly,  a lot of people who had never had a facial before felt it was a time to treat themselves, while also supporting my company and helping me open. I can never figure out the week or what’s going to happen, which can be super stressful. Before, I would take numbers from the following year, raise them by 10 to 20% per month, and plan to do better yearly, but I cannot count on that same plan at this point.

Right now, I’m just trying to tread water and figure out what’s working, and how I can make people feel safe and comfortable in my salon, while also taking all precautions necessary to ensure health and safety. Supply orders are also a huge challenge currently, as I just have no idea from week to week how much I will need--there are so many unknowns right now, and I never know if we are heading for another lockdown. It’s difficult to know whether I should spend money on advertising or promoting a facial, as I just cannot predict if we will have to close again for a significant amount of time. Also, some of my products have an expiration date, so I have to be very careful regarding the amount I am ordering, just in case I cannot use it all. It’s all about adapting to change right now, and that can be stressful, but it’s also a learning opportunity.

Do you think people generally feel safe coming into your space?

Yes! I am following the same general guidelines all salons in Massachusetts must follow, including washing hands when you enter the salon, wearing a mask, checking in/out standing six feet apart in line, barriers/chairs six feet apart. HEPA filters have been installed in the treatment rooms, and we of course wear gloves and masks. The clients are unmasked only for facials, and we are always masked and gloved. I feel that if people are making the time to come in for self-care, they should feel as comfortable and safe as possible during their appointments.

Are people adhering to mask-wearing rules regularly, or have you encountered some challenges?

No, we are fine, and have had no problems whatsoever. Everyone is just so happy I’m open again, so they are 100% compliant when it comes to masking up for appointments. And obviously, they trust that we are adhering to mask-wearing at all times.

What positive things have you learned during this crazy time?

I have learned a lot. It has been a valuable learning experience, especially since my father passed away right before Covid, and I was forced to come up with ways to pick myself up and persevere. I said to myself, “I don’t have anyone to help me so I’m going to do this, no matter what it takes.” I started making Glow boxes and conducting skin consultations over the phone, which gave me something positive to do every day, even though I was at the salon by myself. Someone would purchase a box for themselves, then treat others in their lives to boxes as well. I have been applying to any grant I can apply to and keeping my fingers crossed that I will get something. I really just hope at this point, we can have help for small businesses again so we don’t feel we have to open early just to pay our bills. If we get shut down again, I need to be taken care of in some way. In terms of community, Florence has really held it together, and all of the small business owners have come together to support each other. We buy food from each other, promote each other, and offer whatever support we can.

We have encouraged people to donate money toward the holiday lights and the toy drive. Many of us have donated our time and money to support the nurses at Cooley Dickinson. For example, I gave away $4K worth of gift bags to nurses, and Georgie at Miss Flo’s Diner contributed lunches. We all feel it when a business closes in such a tight-knit community. When Kitty at the Freckled Fox decided to close, it was heartbreaking. She had just started coming to the salon for services right before lockdown, and she came in again just after she had closed the cafe. This just shows you the type of support Florence business owners offer each other.
I’ve also come up with a backup plan if things do not ultimately go as planned with the salon--a traveling champagne truck, which will be ideal for socially distanced backyard parties, weddings, baby showers, etc. After all, we all need a little champagne in our lives, and champagne can go anywhere!

Is there any other information you’d like to share about your business?

I feel honored to have won third best spa 2019 for the Valley Advocate, as well as third place this year for the Reader’s Choice Awards best spa and second best hair salon. In other news, we are trying to get the word out about holiday Glow boxes. During the pandemic, I created my own private medical skincare line, and will be selling 100% Glow Beauty Bar products going forward. I purchased the line through a lab, and I am going to be using those products in my holiday gift boxes. I feel like this will keep us afloat if people do not feel safe coming in. They can order boxes and either pick them up or have them shipped to their homes or to the homes of their family and friends as gifts. I am having posters made and will put them up to announce this line, and will also promote on Facebook and Instagram. Instead of going to the mall, hopefully we will have people ordering from the salon and can therefore keep the money in the community, as well as keep people stocked up on makeup, skincare, and hair products! Even if people cannot get to the salon or do not feel comfortable doing so, they can still look and feel their best.

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