'We believe that people will return': how Ukrainians, who opened a beauty salon in the USA, save business during a pandemic
The beauty salon Gbar in Los Angeles was supposed to be the pride of two Kievans. However, the pandemic made adjustments. As soon as the salon opened its doors, when it had to stop its work due to quarantine, writes “Voice of America".
The opening of a hairdresser and beauty salon in the prestigious Beverly Hills area looked like an American dream come true. Co-owners, Kiev residents Elena and Zhanna, bought the right to work in the famous franchising a year ago. After a long search for premises and repairs, the salon officially opened in March. However, a week later, the mayor announced the suspension of business due to a pandemic. In addition to the pandemic, business was threatened by looting during recent protests. Therefore, the salon was able to return to work only a few weeks ago.
“Even when we started working, there was no question of any profit, we work to stay afloat, so that our craftsmen have some kind of a penny,” says Elena Galyuk, co-owner of the salon.
“After quarantine, many people stopped walking, many craftsmen stopped working because they learned how to work at home, and customers started going to their house,” said Zhanna Kotenko, co-owner of the salon.
The salon is losing both customers and craftsmen also because of the new rules that apply in the state of California. Based on the area of hairdressers, only three people can be inside at a time: one in the makeup section, one on the manicure and one on the haircut.
“Everyone should be masked, and every master should sanitize the surfaces after each client,” says Zhanna Kotenko, co-owner of the salon.
But most of all, the salon was lost due to the lease. Despite the fact that the business did not work for 3 months, the owners were forced to pay the full amount - which is $ 9000 per month.
“Despite all our complaints and pleas, we have not yet been reduced the rental rate,” adds Elena Galyuk, co-owner of the salon.
To save the business, they applied for state assistance programs. I managed to get two loans.
“Thanks to the state, they helped us - we got two loans, but this is not the money that will allow us to stay calm afloat,” says Zhanna Kotenko.
Now Elena and Zhanna have taken over most of the duties at the hairdresser. They say they are positive, they believe that people will nevertheless return to the salons because they want high-quality services.
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