Who We’re Talking To
In this interview Nina Le, Modern Nails Boutique manager, will be representing business owner, Lauren Tran.
Manager at Modern Nails Boutique Salon in Charlotte, NC
Tell us a little about your business.
We deliver nail care in a sanitary yet chic atmosphere. At the salon, clients are given a pleasant experience as well as service and pampering that exceeds expectations.
Were you able to secure any loans during the closure?
We did apply for the PPP loan and a few small business loans, but it was a very difficult process. Once we applied it took a full month to receive any assistance, and what we did receive was a small amount. We also applied for local small business loans, but many of them were based off a lottery. Most of our nail technicians received unemployment and the owner actually helped all of us throughout that process.
Did you re-open your business right away when the governor announced the lift, or did you wait it out?
Yes, we opened right away when the governor announced phase 2 of re-opening, which allows us to operate at 50% capacity.
How long has your business been open?
After two months of closure, our nail salon has been open for 7 days now, and we see about 5-7 clients per technician daily. We have been extremely busy since re-opening and our customers are very happy to be back in the salon.
What did you do to prepare for re-opening your business?
A week before opening, we deep cleaned the salon and changed the layout to make sure all stations are 6 feet apart. We also created a COVID-19 consent form for our clients to fill out prior to their appointment.
Are you implementing any measures that go above and beyond state regulations?
In addition to the extra sanitation measures, we are also using one-time use liners for our pedicure chairs and one-time use tools.
How are you handling re-booking?
Our regular clients knew about the salon re-opening through an email announcement, and they booked their appointment through Vagaro right after. Everything was ready prior to our first day.
What was it like on the first day you re-opened?
Our first day back was calm, smooth, and very exciting! Having online appointments through Vagaro was a win for us since not a lot of nail salons use any type of online scheduling.
What are some steps you are taking to ensure clients they will be protected from risk of infection?
We are requiring all clients to wear a mask and wash their hands before touching anything in the salon. We are stocked with masks so if a client comes to their appointment without one, they can purchase a mask for $2. We encourage all clients to maintain social distancing from other customers and technicians during their appointment. We are also taking extra sanitation measures such as a 15-minute buffer between customers to properly disinfect all surfaces.
Did you adjust pricing when you re-opened?
No, we did not adjust pricing. We’re in the middle of a pandemic and it’s a difficult time for everyone. We didn’t want to make it harder on our clients who need to get their nails done to get out of the house and have some “me” time.
Are you changing employee hours?
Yes, we had to adjust our employee hours because the nail salon guidelines in North Carolina require us to operate at 50% capacity. We have 12 people max (customers and nail technicians) in the salon at a time. We have not extended our working hours, and our technicians work 3-4 days a week plus a half day with 5-6 technicians working per day.
What Vagaro feature helped your business the most?
Email Marketing really helped with communication with our clients. It was important to stay in touch with our customers during the closure and when we were able to re-open, we emailed our customers the new safety protocols that our nail salon was taking so they knew what to expect at their next appointment.
What tips would you like to share with the Vagaro community for those waiting for their state to lift shelter in place orders?
Remember what you love doing and be open-minded about what everyone has gone through because we have all faced different challenges during the pandemic. It means a lot to me as a nail technician to give our employees and clients that peace of mind, and to have that reciprocated.
Do you have a business like Nina’s? Take a moment to jot down a list of all the tools you need — you might find yourself making a note about Vagaro Forms! Get started today, cross it off your list, and take control of the next phase of your business!