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'This is the time to come together': Arlington hairstylist shifts business from salon to virtual home studio

Sess Lee, hairstylist and owner of Flourish Curls in Arlington offers tips to shift your business from salon to virtual home studio.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced many small business owners to either close their doors or completely shift their business models.

It certainly wasn't a welcomed challenge for Arlington business owner, Sess Lee of Flourish Curls, but one she says might be a wake-up call for the men and women in the beauty industry.

While some are able to work from home as those “shelter-in-place” orders remain active, it presented an even bigger challenge for the longtime natural hairstylist -- not to mention – she just opened her Arlington salon less than six months ago.

Like many small business owners struggling to navigate this new normal, Sess knew it was time to pivot. 

"I have a hair product, so I immediately thought I have something I can sell," Sess said. "I went online and thought, 'How can I turn what I do as a niche into something virtual or something tangible to stay connected with my clients?'"

That's what led Sess to create home videos that have become popular with her clients. 

She demonstrates how to use her Flourish Curl hair products online and also sells them on her website, something she says has helped her maintain an online presence with her customers.

"I feel like I've done more videos now than I ever have, so if you weren't comfortable doing videos before, you better get comfortable.”

Staying connected to your clients is just the first step to help your business thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also has a few tips for others in her industry likely finding themselves in the same situation. 

  • Learn the online business and how you can leverage it daily
  • If you don't have one already, create a website
  • Don’t just rely on social media, understand the importance of email listservs

She also says this isn’t the time for similar businesses to compete with one another.

"This is the time for us to come together and be stronger together, figure out if there's someone else in your market or someone else in your industry who would be willing to collaborate with you, do a webinar together.”

While working from home isn’t what Sess or any of us thought we’d be doing in 2020, she says there’s something all business owners can learn during this time.

"Find the perspective of how this can work for you, and not just be detrimental for you because I really, truly believe that there are going to be some amazing businesses created during this time."

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