This is my commentary on the closing of my business, and the reasons behind doing it. As a small business owner I was extremely conflicted as to whether making the decision to temporarily close our doors at House of Glam would be the right one - as I’m sure the majority of small business owners are.
I have two healthy children, a loving and healthy fiancé, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have the majority of my friends and family members absent from underlying health issues.
With only a year and a half in business I feel both myself and Kristie have learned so much, and every day we gain knowledge we never had. Even through the trials and tribulations of our first year of business, I’m happy we had the experiences and learned the lessons we did.
As a mother I struggle with balancing home life and business. I absolutely adore my children in every way possible. My son Brody changed my life forever and I’m so thankful every day that I have him because he made me want to be a better human. My daughter Audrina, my sweet little baby, has made me look at life differently when it comes to the pressure women face in our society. I would do anything in this world to protect my babies - and I’ve been working hard to try to give them a life that I never had. The endless nights and early mornings that I’ve spent working, was and still is, in trying to provide them with opportunities to grow. There have been days where I feel I’ve let them down because I’ve focused more on trying to establish a successful business - and I’m okay with admitting that. I am only human.
The thing is, it’s so difficult to find that balance between being a mother and a business owner. Don’t ever feel like you're alone, or that you’re doing the wrong thing by following your dreams. I think us women are strong enough to balance both; it just takes a little bit of time and guidance.
I have a degree in public health and I recognize the gravity of COVID-19. I educated myself on coronavirus, just as we did with MERS and SARS in school, and I also took into consideration the demographics. The majority of our clientele is 18-45 years old and female without underlying health issues (and we know that because of our diligent client intake forms). At House of Glam (HofG) we implemented new policies and procedures to help minimize the spread of the virus. I also recognize that not all businesses have the capacity to do so - and I sympathize with them.
Kristie and I decided to reduce the number of employees we had providing services, increased booking time by 15 minutes to allow extra time for disinfecting, sterilizing our tools with UV-C to kill any microbes, and we also offered clients to do the same with their phones. Upon arrival at HofG studios, clients were asked to remove all outdoor clothing, wash their hands, and put a mask on to minimize the possibility of droplets. Aside from those procedures we required all of our staff to stay home if they had flu-like symptoms or had contact with anyone who travelled.
I felt conflicted, so did my business partner, as we truly felt and still feel we were taking all the necessary precautions to help minimize the spread. As a business owner I was looking at the economic impact of this pandemic and as well as the deterioration of mental health. We’ve had many clients express to us how stressed out they are with the pandemic and were thrilled that we were open. We had some clients say they just needed to go to their happy place to feel good during this time. I took into consideration whether the benefits outweigh the risks, and I truly felt HofG implemented measures necessary to minimize the spread of the virus. However, we’ve always placed priority on clients' health and our health; regardless of the new policies and procedures we implement there will still be risk.
And then, the topic of social pressure. I’ve spoken with others who are involved in the beauty industry and are faced with the pressure to shut down, even though they strongly feel they are taking the right precautions. I feel for you. I’m still coming to terms with it myself. The unknown? Will HofG recover from this? Will your business still stand when this is over? The unknown is alway terrifying.
I spent the day with my grandparents and children down in good ol’ Pouch Cove. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to go see them but I never made the time because I was so busy with work. My grandparents are the most loving and in-love human beings you could ever meet. The love they have for one another is something we should all strive for. Today just reinforced how important it is to protect those individuals who are vulnerable. Regardless of age, race, gender… we all have a life to live. Just take a moment to look at the stats, it’s inevitable we will lose our grandparents, or parents, or potentially children that are immunocompromised - and if we can help minimize the virus and prevent deaths from occurring, shouldn't we? The Canadian government has offered to help small businesses in so many ways. It is just a reminder of how fortunate we are to be Canadian. In Newfoundland and Labrador, we have a greater proportion of elderly, and elderly individuals are more vulnerable to contracting the virus and not recovering from it. I think it’s time for everyone to do their part and help our community. As small business owners, we will open our doors and turn the lights on when it is safe to do so. Until then, I think we need to work together to get through this.
“House of Glam is my baby. When you own a business you work around the clock!!! This week has been a rollercoaster of emotions as coming to the decision to close the doors for weeks or maybe months. I am sure Dianna knew how I was feeling when I called her at 7:00 am (I'm not a morning person). I was telling her I think we should close. Today has been hard on the heart but there is nothing more important than working together to prevent the spread of this virus. This virus is no joke! Take it seriously! We will be back better than ever! Can’t wait to see my beautiful clients when this is all over. Stay strong xx” - Kristie
Lots of love,
Dianna & Kristie