LAKEWOOD, Ohio — It hasn’t been an easy year for hair salons with COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, but one Lakewood salon has bounced back in a big way.
Stella and Shay Beauty Bar’s attention to detail and community support is helping them say “we’re open” in more than one location.
“We do hair and nails mostly,” said Becca Gordon, owner of Stella and Shay Beauty Bar. “We also have spa services at our Westlake location and spray tans as well.”
Gordon opened the Lakewood salon back in 2016. Then, she added another location in Westlake in 2018, expanding her team from five to 32.
“Everything pre-pandemic was going great. We have a fabulous team, we have a lot of services,” Gordon said.
When the pandemic started, Gordon voluntarily shut down for what she thought would be two weeks. Then, Gov. Mike DeWine's lockdown order extended that to 11 weeks.
“My biggest struggle through the 11-week closure was me being worried about my staff, to be honest,” Gordon said.
Gordon said she stayed in touch with her team during the closure through Zoom, but overall, it was tough.
“When you host someplace that's a safe place for a lot of people, and you're providing them income to feed their families, to make their car payments, to make their mortgage payments - it's very scary because you just don't know like is someone going to have to leave to get another job because they can't stay afloat,” Gordon said.
Finally, the salon reopened in June, without any layoffs, but with some major adjustments to keep staff and clients safe.
“We were able to open May 15 but we waited that two weeks just to give our staff a little bit of time to prepare,” Gordon said. “We also had to stock up on things like gloves, Plexiglas, more cleaning supplies, which were actually very hard to get once they announced that things could start reopening.”
Gordon also implemented new procedures at her salons.
“Spacing out desks, only allowing so many stylists to work a day,” Gordon said. “Temperature checks, a lot of sanitizing. the salon is deep cleaned every single week by a professional company.”
Their efforts are reassuring to loyal customers like Rebecca Hopp who has been coming to Stella and Shay for four years.
“It took people a little while to come back and feel comfortable, but I immediately felt comfortable,” Hopp said. “I feel super safe coming throughout COVID. I'm super immune-compromised. And so this has been incredible to see how awesome Becca has been about taking care of not only her staff but her customers and doing everything she's supposed to be doing.”
Gordon said besides a slight dip when COVID-19 numbers spiked last fall appointments are steady.
“A lot of our customers, the only place they go is the grocery store and the salon. They still haven't even been back to restaurants so we feel very fortunate they feel really safe with us,” Gordon said.
Now, she’s focused on the next chapter of Stella and Shay, a Pittsburgh location she bought back in July.
“It's definitely been a little tricky to do construction there and be here and go back and forth, but it's looking really good,” Gordon said. “It’s the first step to see if this is the first of many out of state locations for us.”
Stella and Shay’s new location in Pittsburgh is set to open sometime this spring. In the meantime, they’re looking for a couple of new hairstylists to join their team in Ohio.
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