See the light, kindness matters.

Today is Winter Solstice 2020, the shortest day of the year, a day where darkness rules…I think we can all agree that this was not the only day in 2020 that was ruled by darkness.. a show of hands who agree?

2020 began with so much promise like other years, an election year,  fresh self-care commitments, budgets with savings in mind and weight loss strategies for most of us, that is, until March came and COVID stormed in with a vengeance. Businesses were ordered to close their doors, jobs were lost, stay at home orders were placed and zoom links replaced the infamous office watercooler chit chat spot and the majority of Americans were at the start of their new found larger waistline.

As we stand behind each chair, tending to the beauty needs of each valued guest, there is visible evidence lingering outside our big, beautiful windows, looking out at Main street, that COVID has clearly overstayed it’s welcome. With empty parking spaces, bare sidewalks free from smiling tourists and busy downtown businesspeople all eager to get to their destinations.  It’s an “eerie” feeling we are all concerned about.  News of restaurants closing for the winter, one recently starting a go-fundme page asking for support or even worst some closing permanently.  Retail stores moving out, remaining retailers learning how to create a shopping experience through Instagram and Facebook live or getting creative by collaborating with other businesses in hopes of sharing one another’s customer traffic. Service businesses are limiting their staff, hours and offerings in hopes of earning a profit without compromising their previously promised experience.

We are no different. A decision to operate without a front guest care person and assistant in training was made in hopes of limiting outside exposure for added customer safety while also managing overhead expense. However, it comes at a cost like so many businesses right now, extra workload. However when I end sentence I am filled with gratitude to even have a job/business with today’s realities.  Our newly expanded job positions of answering the phone, greeting guests at the door to confirm government guidelines have been honored and managing the support work (especially cleaning this 3800 sq ft monster of a space) forced us to revamp our service service model with newly expanded time standards. But like every entrepreneur this year we must learn to make lemonade out of lemons.  There is a renewed kind of intimacy with having fewer people to look after and fewer unnecessary interruptions. At this time, I want to thank each one of you for being incredibly flexible and understanding when asked to pause while we tend to others or to alter your appointment to accommodate such changes, you’re kindness has been beyond supportive and heartwarming.

Typically, this is the time of year where we extend hours to accommodate additional service guests as they prepare to be seen by family and friends at get togethers large and small. There was always an excitable energy in the air to look our best while we reminisce of upcoming travel, holiday recipes and unique gift giving ideas which this year are a thing of the past. As stylists, we are no stranger to hearing it all, and this year is no different.

Our hearts have ached for those who have suffered unimaginable loss, sickness, financial difficulties beyond their wildest dreams, relationship struggles, painstaking loneliness and heartache from not seeing loved ones.  We are especially no stranger to the “cranky” moods that slip in every now and again, we understand that venting is healthy (healthy venting that is), and in this profession learning to not personalize it is survival. However, when our own stress is simmering in the background (yes, we are experiencing our own kind of stress) it is not quite as easy to repel some of the unhealthy “cranky feels” appearing more frequently. In the business of touch making beauty comes from connecting at a deeper level beyond a handshake and disrespect is something service providers have always had to wrestle with. Service providers even beyond stylists such as dentists, nurses, lawyers and waitstaff alike, heck every job requires some sort of service to someone else. 

I would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone, at a crucial time to consider operating towards one another from a place of curiosity for, with connection as your motivation. A wise, compassionate mentor of mine shared three mantras I work to consider at every unsettling situation:

  1. Seek to understand
  2. Keep the end result in mind
  3. 90% of problems are caused by role confusion

Starting today, the darkest day of the year, I invite you to shed some light onto to those around you, kindness matters and kindness wins.

So long 2020, your lessons will serve us well for years to come,

Stacey

Today, is Winter Solstice 2020, the shortest day of the year, a day where darkness rules…I think we can all agree that this was not the only day in 2020 that was ruled by darkness.. a show of hands who agree?

2020 began with so much promise like other years, an election year,  fresh self-care commitments, budgets with savings in mind and weight loss strategies for most of us, that is, until March came and COVID stormed in with a vengeance. Businesses were ordered to close their doors, jobs were lost, stay at home orders were placed and zoom links replaced the infamous office watercooler chit chat spot and the majority of Americans were at the start of their new found larger waistline.

As we stand behind each chair, tending to the beauty needs of each valued guest, there is visible evidence lingering outside our big, beautiful windows, looking out at Main street, that COVID has clearly overstayed it’s welcome. With empty parking spaces, bare sidewalks free from smiling tourists and busy downtown businesspeople all eager to get to their destinations.  It’s an “earie” feeling we are all concerned about.  News of restaurants closing for the winter, one recently starting a go-fundme page asking for support or even worst some closing permanently.  Retail stores moving out, remaining retailers learning how to create a shopping experience through Instagram and Facebook live or getting creative by collaborating with other businesses in hopes of sharing one another’s customer traffic. Service businesses are limiting their staff, hours and offerings in hopes of earning a profit without compromising their previously promised experience.

We are no different. A decision to operate without a front guest care person and assistant in training was made in hopes of limiting outside exposure for added customer safety while also managing overhead expense. However, it comes at a cost like so many businesses right now, extra workload. However when I end sentence I am filled with gratitude to even have a job/business with today’s realities.  Our newly expanded job positions of answering the phone, greeting guests at the door to confirm government guidelines have been honored and managing the support work (especially cleaning this 3800 sq ft monster of a space) forced us to revamp our service service model with newly expanded time standards. But like every entrepreneur this year we must learn to make lemonade out of lemons.  There is a renewed kind of intimacy with having fewer people to look after and fewer unnecessary interruptions. At this time, I want to thank each one of you for being incredibly flexible and understanding when asked to pause while we tend to others or to alter your appointment to accommodate such changes, you’re kindness has been beyond supportive and heartwarming.

Typically, this is the time of year where we extend hours to accommodate additional service guests as they prepare to be seen by family and friends at get togethers large and small. There was always an excitable energy in the air to look our best while we reminisce of upcoming travel, holiday recipes and unique gift giving ideas which this year are a thing of the past.  The conversations are…let’s just call them unclimactic. As stylists, we are no stranger to hearing it all, and this year is no different.

Our hearts have ached for those who have suffered unimaginable loss, sickness, financial difficulties beyond their wildest dreams, relationship struggles, painstaking loneliness and heartache from not seeing loved ones.  We are especially no stranger to the “cranky” moods that slip in every now and again, we understand that venting is healthy (healthy venting that is), and in this profession learning to not personalize it is survival. However, when our own stress is simmering in the background (yes, we are experiencing our own kind of stress) it is not quite as easy to repel some of the unhealthy “cranky feels” appearing more frequently. In the business of touch making beauty comes from connecting at a deeper level beyond a handshake and disrespect is something service providers have always had to wrestle with. Service providers even beyond stylists such as dentists, nurses, lawyers and waitstaff alike, heck every job requires some sort of service to someone else. 

I would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone, at a crucial time to consider operating towards one another from a place of curiosity for, with connection as your motivation. A wise, compassionate mentor of mine shared three mantras I work to consider at every unsettling situation:

  1. Seek to understand
  2. Keep the end result in mind
  3. 90% of problems are caused by role confusion

Starting today, the darkest day of the year, I invite you to shed some light onto to those around you, kindness matters and kindness wins.

So long 2020, your lessons will serve us well for years to come,

Stacey

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