BVI News

Beauty shops experiencing slow periods as COVID-19 takes toll

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to take its toll on the global economy, at least two beauty shops in the British Virgin Islands are feeling the fallout.

Speaking to BVI News on Monday, prominent businesswoman Patsy Lake confirmed that business has slowed in that area.

She owns and operates a beauty salon and barbershop out of One Stop Mall in Road Town.

“It has been drastic. When we would normally do ‘X’ amount, and have ‘X’ numbers, we are not doing that. Like the beauty businesses and the barbershop businesses, it goes up and down. We will be swamped one day and then another day, barely nothing. We had to stagger hours,” Lake explained.

Widespread lay-offs mean fewer patronising beauty shops

She associates these changes with the widespread job-losses that have affected persons locally.

“A number of persons are still unemployed and there are a number of persons that are still underemployed. And, those are the people who would, of course, be turning over in businesses such as mine,” she explained.

However, Lake said she remains grateful despite the new sporadic nature of her business.

“All we could do is hold on. We have a lot to be thankful for, so the dollar will come in time. As long as we have health, the dollar will come, but if you don’t have the health, where are you? There is no hope. You look at a lot of the businesses in America, they are folding up like paper bags, so if my door could still stay open, I am thankful,” she said.

One client for the day

In the meantime, another beauty shop owner also said she, too, is seeing a smaller client base.

In an interview with our news centre at minutes after 5 pm on Monday, Kishma Bodkin of Kishma’s Braid Studios was servicing the only client she’s seen for the entire day.

“I still have my staff but it’s kind of difficult to take on more people. But still, people coming and do their hair. At least we are making ends meet but you ain’t really saving.”

Business good before COVID

She said she hasn’t reduced her staff hours as they understand and fully aware of the difficult period brought on by the COVID-19.

The full complement of her staff comprises one barber, a nail technician, and two hairdressers. Meanwhile, Bodkin said things were going well businesswise before the COVID-19.

“[Pre-pandemic], you would see a lot of people come. They would do their hair. There were places to go and things to do. But now everything is quiet and everybody watching their money. So sometimes in one month you would say “let me do four hairstyles”, now you would do one braid, something that can stretch you. But we have to do something, we have to survive still.”

Appeal to landlord

Despite the difficult times, Bodkin said she, too, is remaining positive.

“There are days you make and days you don’t make [money]. Right now I’m going to have to talk to my landlord to see if he could give me a little break on the rent. But I don’t know how that would go. If it don’t get better, it will force a lot of business to close down.”

BVI News spoke to a number of other business owners in the local beauty industry who opted to not comment on the state of their business due to the fear of being victimized.

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  1. Mask says:

    Why arent they wearing Masks

    Like 20
    Dislike 3
  2. What did you expect? says:

    I figure out how to do my own hair. There is no way I am sitting in any hair salon. The curfew and lock down is over but I am continuing to follow the protocols that was put in place from day one.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  3. BVI says:

    because we brokes

    Like 10
  4. @Masks says:

    fool did you consider that the photo may have been a file pic taken long before corona days. Yoaull just like to run ayo mouth so you can have something to make noise over.

    Like 23
    Dislike 6
  5. WoW says:

    And the great tribulation has not yet arrived.

  6. Open the borders says:

    Before all businesses go bankrupt! Stop playing with peoples money no food!

  7. Harsh but true says:

    Who on earth is so self-absorbed that they think dressing up as something they’re not is important right now?
    Anyone who needs to get beauty treatment in a pandemic must have a face like a bee stung it, it set on fire and it was put out with a cricket bat.

    Like 21
    Dislike 11
  8. LOL says:

    Slow news day? People have to put food on their tables and keep lights on so of course the glamour bulls**t will take a hit. If you think it is bad now wait until the borders are opened and we have consistent scheduled flights leaving the BVI.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  9. @Open the boarders says:

    Go and figure out a way like others is doing to sustain themselves and be responsible for themselves. The boarders should remain closed for our protection and safety. Encourage the gun runners, drug mules and the human trafficking to stop.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  10. HMM says:

    Too many hair salon in the BvI, everyone have their own people they go to.

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  11. Hmm says:

    Can’t be beauty shops the public BEGGED the Premier to make an essential business??!!! Can’t be…

  12. Sure about that? says:

    Promote and build your clientele/business because a lot of hairdressers are booked out from weeks before on a daily i had to call around 6 hairdressers just so i can get my hair done. And only got it done because someone cancelled. Majority of these hairdressers are still making money thats for sure so y’all might just have to get y’all selves together

  13. Snoppy says:

    I love Kishma. She used to braid my child’s hair – the best:)
    Always friendly, humble lady.

  14. Why says:

    I can’t believe this. With the curfew gone dem women need to be ready for their part time daddy’s. Someone ain’t tellin the truth here.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  15. Ok says:

    cause it got too much also.. all kinds tuck in here and there… its ridiculous

  16. Ok says:

    Her place need to fix up. Place run down and old

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  17. Hmmm says:

    Needs more than a fix up, just saying…. However would think that a wider cross section of the industry would have been interviewed for this article. Nonetheless people are concerned about their health/hygiene, and where the next dollar is coming from. It’s the signs of the economic times we live in. Buckle up for the ride.

  18. kema says:

    Cannot eat hair in this time be thankful whi you get persons can adoes their hair at home to save the dame money you want so just chill out

  19. Anonymous says:

    If they will lower their prices, it wouldn’t be so slow. It cost way to much to go to the hair dresser.

  20. Say what says:

    @anonymous, nobody needs to lower their prices to suit you. If you can’t afford it then find someone that’s in your budget.

  21. thankfull says:

    to much money for a heir style you all have no consideration

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