The Coronavirus has impacted small businesses all over the world. If you’re in an industry that is dependent on person-to-person contact, then the quarantine has the power to destroy everything you’ve built over time.
Nayamka Roberts-Smith owns LABeautyologist, a Los Angeles based esthetician company that specializes in personalized facial skincare, body treatments and body waxing, for every skin type, especially people of color. “I really became an esthetician because I realized there wasn’t a big space for women of color in skincare. Every time I went to a conference or had some type of product event, whenever they spoke about skin of color, it was always an afterthought and I didn’t like that. I wanted to create a space where people who have more pigment in their skin were prioritized. That’s what encouraged me to become an esthetician,” said Nayamka.
As you can imagine, it is next to impossible to provide these services when businesses are prohibited from opening and people are practicing social distancing. So how can beauty businesses like this stay afloat during a global pandemic?
Beauty app Cherie created the Future Beauty Fund Initiative that will help companies sustain their businesses during this time. “Cherie is committed to supporting our beauty community affected by COVID-19. Beauty professionals such as hairstylists, nail technicians, estheticians, and more are an important part of our journeys, but many are hurting because of the shelter-in-place ordinance and closure of non-essential businesses. To support our beauty community during this unprecedented time, Cherie is committing $100K to help small beauty service businesses and beauty professionals in our home base, Los Angeles,” said the brand via their website.
Fifty beauty professionals displaced by the pandemic will be paid by Cherie to create original content on the Cherie app, sharing their talent, expertise, and best advice for the beauty community. If you’re from the LA area, you can apply here. Ten small beauty service businesses, nominated and voted for by the public, will received $5,000 from Cherie to support them during these hard times. If you’re from the LA area, you can apply here.
LABeautyologist is one of hundreds of nominees. If she is awarded the money from Cherie, she plans on using the funds to keep her assistant and possibly hire another person. “Right now I only have one assistant esthetician who’s been helping us a lot,” she said. “I’m really looking to keep her on and support her financially because enough people have lost their jobs as it is. I hope to be able to streamline enough of my online systems in a way where I can maybe bring someone else on since I have to plan more long-term,” she continued.
Salih Watts, owner of the Loc Lov Salon, has also been nominated. The LA-based business is an award-winning hair salon that specializes in natural hair care and elegant loc artistry. “Loc Lov was established because I saw a need for the natural hair industry to be redefined. It was important to offer a contrast to the poor salon experiences many of my clients had before coming to my salon. Quality, innovation, consistency, timeliness and staying on par with new technology is not only important to me, but are also the pillars of running a successful salon,” said Salih.
“I am also community focused and have always felt like my community deserved excellence and my business was an opportunity to provide that experience. It’s been ten years and we have maintained a reputation for outstanding service. We were featured in 2018 as one of the top three natural salons in the country by Essence Magazine which encouraged our move to LA,” he continued.
If Salih is awarded the money, it can help the salon strengthen their foundation in LA. “Loc Lov just opened in LA August 2019; it was our first attempt at expanding beyond D.C. Unfortunately, Covid-19 arose nine months after we opened. We are now so far behind financially that without this 5k or some kind of funds we will have to close Loc Lov LA. We have a nice following and we are a specialty shop rare in the LA area but we just haven’t had enough time to secure our foundation. Our short time in LA limits our access to most small business funds and we have already been denied the PPP grant so we are really hoping to get the 5k fund.”
Kudos to Cherie for doing what they can to keep small beauty businesses afloat. This is a great opportunity to nominate your favorite LA-based beauty professionals and brands. By nominating and voting, you’re doing your part in supporting small businesses during the pandemic.