Just over 100 years ago, the Spanish Flu event of 1918-1920 was the deadliest pandemic ever recorded in history. The pandemic affected over 25% of the US population, with more documented deaths worldwide than in World War I. People covered their faces, wearing masks to slow transmission of the disease. State and local governments banned public gatherings, and enacted social distancing measures by shutting down spaces like churches, schools, and movie theatres. Many close-contact businesses, such as barbershops, even moved their services outside to reduce the spread of infection.
Back then, barbers and beauticians overcame odds that at the time seemed insurmountable. In fact – those same barbers and stylists went on to lay the foundations of the modern beauty and salon industry. A century later, the beauty industry was one of the first to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Global beauty brands immediately pivoted their manufacturing centers to produce hand sanitizers and disinfectants. Salons and barbershops extended free services to frontline responders and continue to work together to ensure that their industry survives this historic inflection point.
“When Life Gives You Lemons – Make Lemonade Outside”
—Blaine, Fringe and Fern Collective co-owner
New regulatory orders for some counties reopening in California have restricted salons, barbershops, and other beauty professions to performing services outdoors only. While this is far from ideal, for a century, salon professionals have proven that when the going gets tough – their industry is tougher. Vagaro recently sat down with Blaine and Shelbie, the owners of the Fringe and Fern Collective in Lafayette, CA. In this interview, we get an intimate view of the challenges and limitations of working under the new order. Blaine and Shelbie speak candidly about the obstacles to working outside and managing a business that sells plants as well as providing hair services. They also discuss as Shelbie puts it, the “awesome timing,” of opening new business just a few months before the beginning of the pandemic.
“We Just Keep Rolling With It.”
—Shelbie, Fringe and Fern Collective co-owner
Fringe and Fern’s creative and adaptable approach to odds that right now feel insurmountable are a reminder of the collective strength of the beauty industry. Remember the words of Winnie the Pooh: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” In another hundred years, the beauty professionals of the future will look back with awe and wonder at your profession’s ability to innovate and persevere.
@Fringeandferncollective are an inspirational example showcasing the beauty industry’s creativity and determination to #adaptandovercome even the toughest times. Vagaro is in your corner, working with your industry to come up with new and better solutions to keep you going until there’s a cure. Whether you’re working indoors with new safety protocols or serving customers al fresco outdoors, we’ve got the tools to keep your business on track. See how our COVID-Clean features can get you started racking up glowing customer reviews and earn a COVID-Ready Badge for your business!
Header Image: Open air barber shop at the University of California, Berkeley, 1919. Image via https://www.docsteach.org/
Body Image: Giorgio Trovato via Vagaro