On March 23, we were told that we would need to close all of our salon locations immediately to stop the spread of COVID-19. This happened rapidly- we had only heard a few days before that we may need to close for a time. We did not have a timeline for how long we would be closed. We did not know when we would be able to open. Most of all, we did not know if we would ever be able to re-open. As many of us learned quickly, most small businesses are only a few weeks, maybe a month, away from total insolvency. Service businesses run on services; if there are no services, there is no revenue. So, before we knew there was funding, before we knew we would be eligible, before we knew anything (and that was about a month) that was a scary, lonely place to be.
Over the past 2 months we were forced to take a hard, cold look at our business, to try to identify how a business that has been in place successfully since 2007, could be so fragile. It was a hard pill to swallow- Urban Waxx has always seemed to constant, so permanent, for me. As the owner, I have spent almost every minute of the last 13 years thinking about Urban Waxx, planning, crafting, dreaming. It has become part of my very DNA. Suddenly, I had to imagine what my life would be like without the business, and I had to plan.
Our first goal was to ensure we could secure the funds available in order to re-open and to ensure that all of our employees were taken care of. That was a scary time. We spent most of March and April waiting and hoping and reading every bit of new legislation. Once we knew that we would be okay, that our team would be okay, then it was just…waiting.
We have seen incredible acts of kindness during this time. We have seen our guests reach out and ask how they could support us. We have seen our team members reaching out to one another in beautiful ways to support one another. We formed an Urban Waxx Zoom book club and started reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle (have you read that yet…if not highly recommended). We started holding Zoom meetings! Our Marketing Director, Kaylynn, designed and launched our online retail store, and it’s beautiful! We sent and received so many supportive texts, emails, calls. Even though we were apart, it felt like we were even more supported.
Today is May 23, exactly 2 months after the shut down in Oregon. So much has changed within and without Urban Waxx- and the world. On Wed May 20 we re-opened our first location that was able to re-open, our Eugene salon. We were SO excited to start, slowly, the re-entry into the world. It is a strange time…we are waxing in head to toe PPE, we cannot do the extra touches that we love to provide our guests like offer them a mimosa or give them a hug after their wax. So many little nuances have had to be adjusted.
But…WE ARE HERE. We are here and we are ready and we are cautiously optimistic. All of our salons have been deep cleaned top to bottom and disinfected by a Electrostatic Disinfection company. At Urban Waxx, we have always placed an incredibly high priority on sanitation and cleaning, so this feels very normal for us. We have updated all of our protocols and procedures to be 100% compliant with the CDC. We have to remove our beloved snack and beverage menu for the time being, but we hope to be able to provide it again to you soon.
The strongest don’t survive. The most adaptable do. This has never been more apparent than right now. We have watched as other businesses closed their doors never to reopen. It has been heartbreaking. We had to pivot, to look inward, and to streamline. Who are we going to be now? How are we going to operate. What are the most important pieces? What are the things that we want to do away with? We are going to come back stronger, more cohesive, more in tune than ever.
The world is a wild place, and the time to come together, to support, to reach out, to be grateful is NOW. Is it me, or do things that seem SO important 2 months ago now seem so silly. Isn’t that the way it always is? There is a quote that says: “If you feel pain, you’re probably growing” and we have collectively, felt so much pain and fear and uncertainty over the past few months. We have also grown so much. We are always learning, growing, and evolving, and these 2 months have also given us the opportunity for deep reflection.
I am so grateful and overwhelmed and thankful to my team- a team that is made up of strong, passionate, resilient and supportive women who have made a home at Urban Waxx. I am overjoyed to be able to continue on this journey, and to welcome each of you back through our doors, safely.