Last Thursday saw a lot of beauty therapist’s heave a sigh of relief over the president’s announcement that they could open up their doors again to customers.
The sector has been one of the most affected by the nationwide lockdown as it remained one of the few businesses which still couldn’t operate under restriction regulation level three.
Johannesburg nail technician, Charity Sibanda (34) tells us the news couldn’t have come at a better time, recalling the rough months she’s had since she was forced to put down her tools.
“I really love my job. I feel very relieved from the pressures I’ve had like rent, putting food on the table, I've been keeping my fingers crossed.”
The last three months have been trying times to say the least she tells DRUM.
Having been stripped of the leeway to earn an income prompted her to rethink the way she does business.
She has now developed an appointment only system to ensure she practices social distancing.
“I now have to work on an appointment only system or time tickets to practice social distancing. I’ve had to advertise a lot now on social media than I did before and also to avoid showing my work to people using my phone instead, I can refer them to my social media account.”
As much as she’s looking forward to seeing her clients and the strong culture of conversation and laughter she’s woven into her service over the years, there will be some key changes she says her customers will have to get used to.
“l have to wear a face shield, use a disposable apron a new one for every client, using sanitizers a lot and sterilize all the time. Screening at the door, no more refreshments (juice) for clients, they’ll also have to keep their bags and coats with them at all times.”
As much as this is a step in the right direction, she says her worries over the virus are still very real and the new way will also have a noticeable dent to her income. “Before you could have as many clients as you wanted waiting and could knock off late it’s up to you, but the ‘appointment only system’ in a way limits a lot of clients at once and that also means less money. Last minute cancellations are also a problem.”
In it all she says she longs again to be, “free and chat to my clients and laugh together like the ‘good-old days’. The pandemic has taught her valuable lessons, “always save money for tomorrow because tomorrow is a mystery, but most importantly have faith.”