‘Staggering’ number stuns re-opened store
Beauty salons have been working around-the-clock since reopening their doors yesterday, with some owners comparing the influx of clients to Christmas trade.
Nail parlours, eyebrow salons and cosmetic studios were all forced to shut up shop in late March as part of the government's plan to restrict the spread of coronavirus.
On June 1, businesses in this area were given the green light to treat clients again, sparking a frenzy of appointments.
Kristin Fisher, who runs popular Kristin Fisher Eyebrows in Sydney's Double Bay, said the number of bookings she had received from deprived clients after Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced beauty salons would re-open on June 1 had been "staggering" - an experience that was shared across NSW by other beauty salon owners.
"We had over 2000 bookings, every day we had a stagging number of inquires and booking requests," Kristin told news.com.au.
"June is looking and feeling like a December trade where we simply do not have enough hours in the day to cater to client demands."
Kristin, who spoke out against the lengthy lockdown last month, calling it "unfair", said the blackout had a "massive impact" on business but things are looking up due to the huge demand for treatments.
"Based on the demand we are looking at expanding our team and have hired staff who are responsible solely for managing hygiene procedures and standards," she said.
Danielle Charlton, who owns Daniela Beauty in Balmain, said her phone hasn't stopped ringing since the rules were relaxed, saying her salon had been "so so so busy" adding it was "busier than Christmas".
"We are extremely packed as everyone is keen to get in the first week," she said, explaining she's advertising for help but is managing by getting her kids to help her open.
"We lost a lot in the closer. I tried so hard to think outside the box, with rent I needed to pay and another bills that needed to be paid," she said.
"I brought in facial kits for home use and special beauty boxes monthly. They were both popular and kept me busy but I was still at least 80 per cent down."
NSW Cosmetic teeth whitening company Champagne Smile has also seen a huge surge in demand, receiving over 250 new bookings in a week.
"Between Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast and Newcastle we received over 250 new bookings," founder, Nicola Madden, said.
"We also generated a significant wait list during the COVID-19 period so were prepared for an initial influx of clients."
Nicola said her bookings had "nearly doubled" in comparison to a normal week but despite this, the business lost 95 per cent of its income during the lockdown.
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It's not just beauty salons that have experienced the spike in demand, with hairdressers - which have remained open throughout lockdown - also seeing more customers walking through doors.
Celebrity hairstylist Anthony Nader, who runs RAW in Sydney's Surry Hills, said bookings had increased after being forced to drop down to just three days of trade during lockdown.
"I believe that consumers are more than ready to get back to hair salons/beauty salons and just have some normality again," he said.
"Thankfully I didn't close my doors at any time, but the salon went from the normal five day trading week to three days."
Last week the salon opened back up four days and from mid-June it will resume a full-working week.
"It has been a really tough past three months," he said. "Thankfully I kept all my wonderful team on the payroll."
Beauty salons, like hairdressers, are permitted to be open providing social distancing measures and COVID-safe plans were in place.
For Kristin, she said her premises had "eight enormous rooms" which are all private and were "sterile AF".
"We penetrate the skin, therefore we have to hold extremely high hygiene standards, in line with medical clinics," she wrote in a post on Instagram recently. So cleanliness has never been an issue.
She has also put stickers on the floor to help clients keep a safe distance - while tending to the brows of some famous faces, including Sylvia Jeffreys and Phoebe Burgess.
Originally published as 'Staggering' number stuns re-opened store