In this series, we learn from small businesses across the country how they are adapting in the world of COVID-19.

The W Nail Bar is a chic and sustainable nail salon founded by Manda and Lauren, two Ohio-born sisters who created and opened The W Nail Bar in 2015. The W Nail Bar was created keeping two things in mind: cleanliness & customer service. All products are handmade by Manda, Lauren and their hardworking staff. To maintain the health and safety of their guests and nail techs, The W has always been and will always be acrylic free.

 

What precautions are you taking to reopen your nail salon? 

Manda and I founded our company on two pillars in 2015 - customer service and cleanliness. We have always had strict sanitation policies and procedures in place in order to ensure our team and guests are always safe. When COVID-19 happened, it really made us think differently about our entire business. We really upped the ante on our sanitation practices. To ensure for a safe opening we have established new protocols: 

  • Opening at half capacity 
  • Going 100% cashless 
  • Employees are required to wear a mask at all times 
  • Nail Technicians are required to wear gloves at all times 
  • Employees will have their temperature taken/recorded before each shift 
  • Installed plastic plexiglass sneeze guards between you and our nail technicians  

For more details, visit our website here: https://thewnailbar.com/cleanliness-sanitation/. We have always held a high standard when it comes to sanitizing and we will continue to do so with medical grade disinfectants.

 

What are you doing now that you weren't previously?  

Our team has never worn masks during services prior to COVID-19. We are an all-natural nail salon, meaning we do not use harsh chemicals (like acrylics) that our team ever had to worry about inhaling. Now, our entire staff is required to wear a mask during their time in our shop. In addition, we are now 100% cashless – all appointments will be booked and pre-authorized with a credit card over the phone or online.  In place of cash tips, our customers can Venmo or leave a credit card tip.  To ensure a healthy and safe environment we will waive any cancellations charges related to Covid-19.  If our customers are experiencing symptoms and are not comfortable, we encourage them to cancel their appointment and provide as much notice as possible. 

 

How are you communicating to customers that your salon is now fully open? 

It’s been very important to stay connected to our customers. We’ve been communicating to our customers throughout the entire situation. We post regularly via social media, emails, blog posts, etc. We have greatly missed our employees and customers beyond measure.  We want to communicate that they mean so much to us and ensure their safety whenever they are ready to return to the salon.

 

How are you communicating changes about your salon to your customers? 

We have been adamant in informing all the changes on social media, media, and marketing channels. We thought it was important to stand up a dedicated landing page on our website to speak in depth about our changes to our salon.

 

What challenges did you have to overcome? 

COVID-19 was extremely challenging in every aspect. We had to re-think our entire business. We are so proud of our team and how they have persevered. 

 

How are you taking care of your employees? 

Our employees have always been our number one priority, it is no secret at The W that employees come first and the guest second. That was a part of our business plan since day one. If you treat your employees with the utmost care and respect your customer will naturally be treated the same. We are currently starting a Wellness & Diversity program.

 

What opportunities do you discover coming out of this situation? 

That is just it, there is always an opportunity for growth & improvement. There is always another way if you are passionate about what you are doing and the people who work for you and the community that supports you. Never give up!

 

What advice or tips do you have for other salons/businesses who are about to reopen? 

Make the right choice based on what makes your employees and guests comfortable. We opened our shop at half capacity so our guests and team would be comfortable. Give yourself grace and take it day by day.