Many local beauty businesses are closed

Cali’s Beauty Supply on Apalachee Parkway is offering curbside pickup. Photo by Kasherah Reynolds

It’s no secret the coronavirus has economically shattered many businesses, including the beauty industry.

The unforeseen chain of events has forced many hairstylists, barbers, nail techs and lash dealers fending to find another source of income due to the sudden interruption of modern-day lifestyles.

COVID-19 has affected numerous industries leaving many workers unemployed and desperate to find a source of revenue.

Melissa Hayes, a local business owner and social work student at FAMU, has temporarily shut down her hair salon, Melissa Fabulous Creations by Mickey Styles Beauty Salon.

“For someone that hasn’t been employed by another employer since 1993, such as myself, it’s just very difficult but luckily I had sense enough to save for a rainy day,” Hayes said.

Hayes has been in the beauty industry for more than 25 years and her experience has made her very successful over the years.

“African American salons are not being fully educated on the things they have to do to maintain a black business in these times,” Hayes said.

Hayes encourages everyone in the beauty business to use social media as a marketing tool to promote and sell products to keep their businesses afloat.

Some barbers, hairstylists and nail techs have been continuing their businesses from their homes by taking house calls, risking their lives as they try to keep a steady income to feed their families.

Taquita White, a FAMU alumna and owner of Ta’Q Nails, also has suspended her business as her clients’ health and safety has always been a top priority.

“Risking my health is not worth it for me to continue my business. I also work full time, so I have steady income,” White said.

When she’s not perfecting her craft in cosmetics, White also works as a corrections sergeant for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office.

“I think everyone who is in the beauty business should have a second source of income,” White said.

Alexia Gillis, a pharmacy student at FAMU, expressed the motivation she has gained to continue marketing her brand as times have taken a turn: “This pandemic is pushing me to go harder and making sure my business is staying afloat.”

Gillis is still launching her lash business, The Lash Pharmacy, also known as Geaux Beaux, through online ordering and maintains interactions with her Instagram followers to keep her brand alive.

“I would hate to see my business come out under after I worked so hard to make sure I have a name for myself. I’m definitely keeping the momentum going, even if I don’t have the sales behind the momentum I want my clients to know that I am here, and I am going to continue,” Gillis said.

With the country and much of the world at a standstill, entrepreneurs still find light within their businesses and continue to hope that a brighter day will come.