Association Working To Unite Beauty Industry During COVID-19 Crisis
May 7, 2020
By Jessica Mathews/News@whmi.com
A local salon owner is working to unite the thousands of frustrated hair stylists, nail technicians, barbers and other business owners that don’t know where to turn during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kristan Sayers is the founder of the Michigan Association of Beauty Professionals and owns K Bella Hair Studio and Spa in Brighton. Licensed professionals are being encouraged to join for free to start uniting the industry and provide as much information to members as possible to navigate through these uncertain times. It’s open to every cosmetologist, esthetician, nail tech, barber, massage therapist, microblader, braider or anyone who works at a salon or spa in Michigan. Sayers says they’re also looking for member feedback on when and how to safely get back to work. She says many in the industry are struggling emotionally and financially but they mostly hear from people who want answers but don’t know who to reach out to for a lot of concerning issues. Sayers says people in the industry just want to know what’s going on and want answers so they can prepare. She says many have been reaching out with questions, seeking answers and they’ve heard from a lot of people on both ends. Sayers tells WHMI the country is very divided and so is the beauty industry. She noted the industry is also divided as some want to return to work but others want to wait and listen to healthcare professionals to protect themselves and clients.
Sayers stressed the Association is not taking any side and wants to be the voice of the entire industry. She says they’re not trying to advocate for returning to work sooner or later, they just want to be ready for when they do go back with proper plans in place whenever the Governor and healthcare professionals say it’s safe to do so. Sayers says the problem they foresee is they’ll be given an opening date but won’t have ample time to prepare for what they have to do. Sayers says that will be a huge undertaking and they’ll need at least two weeks, maybe even longer to actually prepare everyone in the industry to go back and know how to properly use PPE. Sayers says she fears that if they go back to work in month or so and everyone doesn’t follow strict guidelines and have a universal plan in place that everyone can prepare for, then there will be more outbreaks and the industry will get closed down again. Further, Sayers says she’s worried about salon owners having to spend tons of money on things when they’re already broke and don’t know if they’re actually going to need them.
Once everyone is connected, Sayers says they can hopefully proceed to work with the Governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to figure out how to move forward and prepare, adding if future pandemics ever arise, the beauty industry in Michigan will be ready. She also wants to have email addresses and zip codes organized to aid the industry in getting grants and information out more effectively and efficiently. Sayers says they have a back to work plan of action and have been trying to make contact with Lansing but so far have had no luck and have left multiple messages with the Governor’s office and the Better Business Bureau. More information on the Association and current efforts can be found through the provided link.