Local Spas, Salons Comb Through Reopening Requirements

Local Spas, Salons Comb Through Reopening Requirements

Team Cutter Styling Salon co-owner Carla Sutter styles Floy Vochmann's hair. Photo by Stephanie Thompson

For salon owners and massage therapists, meeting the COVID-19 Coronavirus reopening requirements wasn’t too big of a challenge since they already follow strict sanitization practices.

It may not have been as simple as putting face masks on to reopen and meet requirements, but it came pretty close for Team Cutters Styling Salon and Escape Day Spa and Boutique.

“We’re happy to be back to work,” Team Cutters co-owner Shelly McCrea said.

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Both businesses shut down as soon as Governor Mark Gordon issued the public health order for them to do so and they both reopened on May 1 when Governor Gordon changed the order allowing them to resume business.

“We were booked instantly within an hour,” McCrea said.

Misty Hay, co-owner of Escape Day Spa and Boutique said within an hour of them reopening, their phone was ringing nonstop.

At both businesses, customers and clients wear face masks and all areas are sanitized between client visits. Both businesses have a salon, but also provide massages, manicures, pedicures, and many other services.

Heidi Hughes, cosmetologist and hair and nails specialist at Team Cutters, said she’s thankful the state of Wyoming has good sanitization regulations in place already.

“We only had to tweak it,” Hughes said.

Hay, agreed with them only having to change small practices to meet the new regulations, such as wearing masks, taking temperature checks on employees and clients and sanitizing work areas.

“Sanitizing between every guest is something we do anyway,” Hay said.

As for waiting areas, both businesses have made changes. For Team Cutters, no one is allowed in the waiting area, while at Escape Day Spa, they can have clients wait in the relaxation room with social distancing.

However, they do not serve snacks or beverages they way they used to at Escape Day Spa. Hay said everything must be in packages, such as bottled water and any snacks being offered.

“Other than that, it’s business as usual,” Hay said.

Wearing The Mask

Both Hay and the team at Team Cutters said they have a new appreciation for those in a medical profession who are required to wear masks all day.

However, even though the masks may not be the greatest piece of clothing to wear, they are all gladly doing it.

Hay said if they told her she needed to wear a clown hat in order to reopen, she would. Hay said she just wants to get back to business and if wearing a mask will do that for her, she’s willing to do it.

“We would have taken whatever measures to open safely,” Hay said.

“If I need to wear this to protest someone else, I’ll do it,” McCrea said as she pointed to her face mask.

Hughes agreed, “If I’ve got to do it to work, I’ll do it.”

Receiving Financial Help

McCrea applied for funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and received funding, but not when she expected it.

“It wasn’t helpful while we were off, but it paid us back,” McCrea said. “It wasn’t near what I normally made, but it did help and I was thankful.”

Hay said she applied for and received Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program funding and it was beneficial to her.

“We took a big hit. We were actually on a path for an incredible year,” Hay said.

So any funding they could receive was appreciated.

Other Specialists Weigh In

Tiffany Wester, massage therapist and owner of Body Sense by Tiffany, said she has been wearing a mask while giving her clients massages and she’s had to spread out her appointments more so she can follow proper sanitizing guidelines, but other than that it’s back to business.

“Everybody’s very excited to come back,” Wester said.

Wester has been practicing for the past 18 years and has been located at Team Cutters for the last 7 years. While others have faced financial difficulties, Wester hasn’t seen the same impact. She said she’s always been a smart saver and had the foresight to set money aside in case of an emergency, such as breaking a bone. While this pandemic may not have crossed her mind when she was saving for an emergency, Wester was happy she was prepared financially to handle life without a paycheck for a while.

Sandy Rosenbach, owner of Permanent Cosmetics by Sandy, which is also located at Team Cutters, said business is still picking up and even though she didn’t have all of her clients back, she’s happy to have those who have come back.

“It was slow going because I have some clients afraid to come back,” Rosenbach said.

She understands their hesitation, but still misses seeing them.

“They just aren’t clients, they become your friends,” she said.

As for Rosenbach’s finances, she’s been okay.

“It was getting tight four those weeks off, but I have always budgeted well,” she said. “I’m not going to tell you it didn’t hurt, because it did hurt.”

As these salons and other businesses reopen their businesses, all they want is to see their clients and adjust to the “new normal.”