Let’s Talk: Beauty Services and Adapting to Lockdown

Restrictions caused by a series of lockdowns in the UK have not only affected clients but beauty services too.

Today we explore how those within the beauty service industry are adapting to the ever-changing rules. Then, into conversation with Pia-Louise Aldred, founder and owner of Fly Nails London on how she is using this time to better her business.

The effect on beauty services:

Since March 2020, most businesses around the country have experienced closures and limitations. Daily appointments and regular contact with clients soon became a thing of the past.

The frustration due to the uncertainty that hangs over a lot of the beauty industry is understandable. Whilst the government established and supported various schemes such as Eat Out to Help Out, the majority of beauty business owners did not get the same treatment.

 In a predominately self-employed industry, that contributes £6.6 billion to the UK economy, this must be a highly difficult experience for those within the industry.

Where does this leave beauty business owners now? 

Well, a report by Yell Business broke down the ways many business owners have adapted to the pandemic. Those working within beauty services have had to get creative. From virtual makeup lessons to creating nail kits, the use of social media has been key to connecting with clients. This also means that businesses can continue to soar whilst enabling clients to achieve their beauty goals, safely, at home. 

As a result of that, Yell concludes that 76% of small and medium businesses have introduced new services. Furthermore, 34% now doing online video consultations, 32% taking online bookings and 25% running home delivery services. 

In conversation with Pia: 

Based in Chiswick, Pia is the founder and owner of Fly Nails London and has been a qualified nail technician for 8 years.

How has the pandemic personally affected your business?

Oh my god! The pandemic has impacted my business massively! I had just managed to secure my premises on a full time basis and bookings had gone through the roof.

This quickly changed once the first lockdown was sadly introduced. I was thrown into a territory I had to rapidly adjust to! Staying at home all day with two demanding children, including an energetic 3 year old who constantly wants/needs attention and a 10 year old who’s homework is nothing compared to what I had to do at school at that age. Challenging is an understatement to say the very least!

Have you had a chance to think of creative ways to boost your business?

Yes! In the beginning I tried to think of it as just a few weeks off work. I could catch up on things like having a good clear out and just spending quality time with the family. However as time went on, I began to realise it was much harder than I thought! I had no free time to dedicate to myself as I was looking after everyone else!

Then, I decided to increase my online presence and started to customise press on tips which has worked really well.

How have you been using social media to connect and attract new clients for when you’re allowed to open again?

I’ve been able to look at what others have been doing to get through this crazy time. Then, adapt certain things to my own social media profile which has helped to boost my following and my brand. I’ve been seeing and commenting a lot more on inspiring profiles and gaining more insight into current and upcoming trends. This helps me to stay inspired about future ideas & designs.

Tell me more about the creation / inspiration behind your press-on nails.
Via – Twitter

So, I was getting a LOT of messages from people begging me to break lockdown rules and do private work and home visits. But, I just couldn’t risk taking that chance. So, I decided to offer an alternative option to provide custom press on nails which went down really well!

The only thing I’d say I struggled with was finding time to do the more intricate designs which can take up 4 hours, depending on what design and length the client wanted. I never really had an opportunity to work uninterrupted and as any artist will tell you, the best work gets done when you can just get in the “zone”.

What are the pros and cons of press on nails?

The great thing about press on nails I guess is the ability to put them on and take them off at your own leisure! You can switch styles & length on a daily basis to match any style or look you go for! They’re so easy to maintain and even reusable if applied and removed correctly.

I suppose the not so great thing is if not applied properly, they can come off easily and potentially get lost, and that’s the last thing you’d want to happen especially if you’re on a night out!

Finally, in your opinion, how can we all support businesses during challenging times like this?

I think it’s important for businesses, especially small ones like mine to remember we’re not in this alone. We can help each other by supporting social media platforms by liking, commenting, & tagging other business and sharing ideas.

My mental health is being tested in a way it’s never been before. I’m fortunate to have great supportive, positive friends and family who I speak with on a regular basis. It’s a constant reminder that I’m not alone in how I feel when I get down sometimes. Like when I have a great idea and want to work on it straight away and I’m unable to because of home life. It’s important to talk to others. I write all my ideas and thoughts down and come back to them when possible. We’re all in this together and we WILL get through this!

Be sure to check out and support Fly Nails London along with your local beauty services by showing love on social media. I guarantee that you will fall in love with at least one design that will have you tempted to book an appointment when it’s possible!

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Danielle Woods

Magazine journalism and publishing graduate, who enjoys creating content focused on beauty, lifestyle and anything considered 'taboo'. Always working to create an easygoing but informative space for her work. Loves all things skincare, makeup, online shopping, music and writing the occasional poem or two.