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Our Experience Through a Global Pandemic

Sunday, March 15th, 2020, Cranford Township sent out an email stating all non-essential businesses must close for two weeks. We were prepared and set to reopen March 31st, 2020; yet this was not what panned out.

On June 1st, 2020, Governor Murphy announced all salons and barbershops can reopen on June 22nd, just over 3 months of closure for Vôa Salon and Studio.

Over the course of those 3 months, Vôa Salon and Studio prepared weekly for the regulations and protocols they would have to adhere to, to begin servicing clients again. As we know, hair is important, but we cannot take away how important and stressful this pandemic has been.

As of June 1st, 2020, there have been 160,918 positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, with a tragic loss of losing 11,721 New Jerseyans. We send our thoughts and prayers to every single person and family who has suffered from this virus and who have lost a loved one. Our entire country took a hit from this pandemic and the hair industry was no exception.

The hair industry is considered non-essential, but throughout this time, people will argue we are much more than just hair stylists. Hair is much more than just hair, it truly helps shape someone, how they feel about themselves, how they want to represent themselves. As stylists, we missed our clients, our routine and our livelihood, but with the outpouring support and genuine messages, Voa Salon and Studio felt the love and success from their clients during this 3 month closure.

A huge topic of conversation throughout our community, between salons and clients, was curbside color. At Voa Salon and Studio, we strive on education and the quality services we provide to each client. As a team, led by Ana Cristina, we made the decision, a decision we felt strongly about, to not participate in any color kits, curbside color, or house calls, to honor the salon and the standards we fight so hard for in the hair industry.

However, Voa Salon and Studio holds themselves to high standards to help educate each client, and this was a perfect time to help teach clients how to maintain healthy hair at home, which is why Voa

To Go was created. Ana Cristina created Voa Professional, a premium hair care product line, which launched January 2020, which would help clients keep their hair as healthy as possible once they

leave the salon.

Organizing product pick-ups on a weekly basis, was just one step to trying to help our clients, while keeping the business running.

This pandemic also sparked unity from hair salon owners all over the world. Head over to @acgstyle and @jamie_millmather on Instagram to check out some amazing videos Jamie Millmather, co-owner of Love Culture Salon in Rhode Island, has created. She featured salon owners from around the world to share their feelings and struggles during this time.

Social media can be reflected on as such a powerful tool, especially when the whole world is at a stand-still, and people are required to remain home. Instagram has been a saving grace, to connect with our community, and our clients.

The Voa Salon and Studio team created tutorials to help give their followers and clients ideas on how to easily style their hair while at home.

While her team was at home and business was closed, Ana had to work through the ups and downs of being a small business owner during a global crisis. Weekly meetings and visits to the salons were just two tasks on her list. Ana had to readjust her entire salon in order to reopen, following all the new social distancing guidelines and regulations.

Moreover, Voa Salon and Studio has completed their certification to ensure they are a Barbicide Certified Safe Service Establishment. Each stylist and staff member has been required to complete the course as well. Voa Salon and Studio has followed all regulations and guidelines to maintain a safe and clean environment.

Now with June 22nd fast approaching, Ana and her team are excited and prepared to see all of their clients again. Voa Salon and Studio is still working on rescheduling all appointments from March, April, May, and June, but are ecstatic to finally have their solid order to reopen.

From the entire team at Voa Salon and Studio, “We could not be more thankful for the support and patience our clients have shown us during this time. They have made these three months easier for us, from the messages, and phone calls, to showing us how lucky we are to be working with each of you every single day. June 22nd can not come soon enough”.

Vôa Salon and Studio Written by: Michelle Margolin

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