Running A Hair Salons In A Covid Climate: How One Newtown Small Business Owner is Navigating The Pandemic


Marcelle Tiffany opened Whip Salon Newtown in July 2019. An entrepreneur, single mother or two young girls and a hair stylist herself, she had big plans for her new 10 chair salon. She decorated it with boho-chic flare complete with hardwood laminate floors, white washed brick and a wonderfully organic and relaxing vibe.
Marcelle's fledgling salon was just about breaking even and hitting its stride when Covid hit. She scrambled to get the PPP loan which has kept her afloat, but ultimately she lost several of her staff (and unfortunately their clients along with it) due to their fears over Covid in spite of her implementing rigorous safety protocols.
"I'm a fighter and I'm not about to give up on my dream," said Tiffany. "Although we are only allowed to be at 75% capacity by government mandate, we are doing everything we can to continue to offer top-notch service by some of the most talented stylists in the area."
If you're curious about what the day to day operations is really like as a small business owner in this climate, below is an honest Q&A with Marcelle Tiffany. Remember to support local where you can during this difficult time.
Q: How has it been getting through Covid as a small business owner?
A: Now that we are basically a year in to the pandemic, we are in the flow of all the safety protocols and making it work. It was pretty jarring at first, but it's amazing what you can get used to! I'm grateful that the stylists that have stayed with me have been so supportive and flexible. I'm lucky in that respect.
Q: How do you keep morale up?
A: We lift each other up! We are a close-knit team and we do our best to focus on all the good things we have in place: a beautiful salon to work in, in a great town with wonderful, loyal clients and we get to come to work and do what we love in an environment we know is safe.
Q: How have your clients reacted to your protocols?
A: They have been incredibly supportive. We send an exit survey to each one of our clients and the messages they send us really keep us going and honestly motivate us to keep it up for them. Since we have lost staff, what we really need now are more clients. I think there are still some people reluctant to come in at all, so hopefully with the vaccine on the way we think more people will be coming in, in the coming months. It's our job to get on their radar now so when they are ready, they'll come visit us.
Q: What are your plans for the next year?
A: For 2021 our plan as a team is to continue to grow and gel as a team and salon. We strive to do more fundraisers with local charities and organizations within the community and obviously continue to give our clients what they expect, amazing kick-ass hair.  This Saturday we are doing a "Hair Raiser" for Ben's Bells giving 10% of all services to the organization.

Whip Salon Newtown is a franchise location and is open 7 days a week and caters to ladies, men and kids too. A new client special is now on for February - just mention special code NEWGUY to get 20% off your first haircut or color service at Whip Salon Newtown.  Book online at whipsalon.com, download the app or call 203.270.8777. 

*Image shows left to right: Master Stylist Jenn Tani; Whip Salon Newtown Owner and Master Stylist Marcelle Tiffany, Stylist, Isabella Gartrell


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