Caralee Pridemore owns Sweetly Pinned Hair and Makeup, an onsite wedding hair and makeup business based out of Dayton, OH. Her business is made up of herself and 10 independent contractors who work for her.
Shelter-in-place orders were announced in Ohio on March, 22 2020, with the last day of business for hairstylists that following Wednesday. Sweetly Pinned's stylists were booked out March, April, May, and June.
"Our brides started looking at canceling mid-March and once the shelter-in-place was ordered, April brides started canceling," Pridemore says. "May and June are mostly rescheduled with a few still holding on as we wait for an open date. Most rescheduled weddings have postponed until later in the year, well into August, and have decided to do a Friday weddings now. I have a few that have postponed until 2021. We are taking it day by day until we know how opening will be effecting later dates."
Like many other bridal stylists, Pridemore had to quickly adapt her usual way of doing things and stay especially organized in the wake of COVID-19. Here are a few examples.
CONTRACT TO CONTAIN A PANDEMIC CLAUSE: "With any business during this time, it’s important to reflect on things we can control versus can't," Pridemore says. "For that reason, we will be updating our contract to reflect a 'pandemic' clause. I cannot legally advise on what your clause should state, but I’d recommend that you get with a lawyer and make sure you are protected legally in the future!"
NO SOFT HOLDS: "Some of our brides have asked us to hold their current date along with holding another date," she says. "For our sanity and theirs, we stand firm in a 'no hold' conflict. This could cause major setbacks if you or the client forget to reach back out. I use a booking software called Honeybook and its been super beneficial for this reason alone. Staying organized is a huge part in all of this, especially when running a bridal hair and makeup company. With other team stylists needing answers too."
DIVERSIFY INCOME: "I definitely think its beneficial to have multiple sources of income if possible," she says. "A ton of awesome companies are offering affiliate marketing links for products, and you could make etc money from promoting products to your clients during this time. While brides are still planning their weddings, get with them virtually and let me know what products they could use during this time to train their hair for the big day or products they could even take on their honeymoon. Maybe reach out to a couple accessory companies and see if they will partner up. The best way to showcase all of the ways to make additional income would be applying these methods on yourself or a mannequin. You could offer one-on-one classes virtually and charge per the hour. This works for makeup artists as well. I myself am looking into offering multiple online hair and business classes for additional income."
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