Small businesses everywhere have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For Danique Shallow, founder of Styled by Nique the pandemic may have stopped business for a bit but it did not stop the hustle. Shallow is a hairstylist and has been running Styled by Nique since October 10, 2018. In March 2020 Shallow, like many other business owners had to put their business on hold during the lockdown.
“COVID-19 initially halted my ability to execute services on clients. From March to August, I could not accept clients, so there was no income made through my business,” says Shallow.
Although business came to a halt, Shallow didn’t let her talents go to waste.
“I used that time to practice and sharpen my skills to serve my clients better. I needed to come back to my clients better than I was before,” Shallow said.
Shallow says she always puts her clients first. When it was finally time to resume business Shallow made sure that all safety protocols were followed during every appointment.
“Extra precautions such as routine sanitization and face coverings are now mandatory for every appointment and have become the new normal,” says Shallow.
When she first started doing hair for people it was for her close family and friends. But then that evolved into Styled By Nique when she realized that she was getting so many positive reviews.
“After observing how happy and confident my work made my family members and friends, I wanted to extend that happiness and confidence to other women which birthed my business,” Shallow said.
She is constantly engaged with her clients. Through social media she is always updating her clients on new deals, new hairstyles and showing off her clients with their new dues. According to Shallow, social media has become vital in the evolution of her business.
Social media is my business’s primary marketing tool. I use my social media platform to publicize my work and attract clients. Clients can access my booking site and contact me with questions or concerns through my social media handles,” Shallows said.
Her connection to her clients is shown online and in person. According to SUNY Brockport student Gianni Sanchez 21, Shallow really makes her clients feel like family.
“ Throughout getting your hair done she keeps you laughing, conversations are engaging and she makes you feel like you are at home,” says Sanchez.
For many people, going to a hair salon is an event. It’s a time when your only worry is yourself. It allows one to feel good about themselves and how they look. According to Alysha Rios 22, another one of Shallows clients, Shallow really makes sure that her clients are feeling their best once they leave that chair.
“ At the end of every session you get a mini photoshoot that really makes you feel like the flyest girl in the room,” says Rios.
These are trying times for everyone. So to just have a couple of minutes where someone is reaffirming your confidence and esteem can make a huge difference on someone day.
Shallow understands this for other people and herself as well. To run a business is hard but then to add a global pandemic on top of that is harder. Shallow as young business owner has learned that running a business is all about adapting to what comes next.
“Whatever cards I’m dealt, I have to strategize, do my research, practice patience, and deal with it all while keeping my clients’ best interest at heart.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted everyone’s focus. The “new normal” that Shallow has mentioned is something that we have to adjust to. It is wonderful to see how new business owners have taken the “new normal” and have created space for people to enjoy during uncertain times.