How to Prepare for Reopening: Interviews with OPI Pros
With salons opening back up across the nation, we wanted to check in on our Nail Pro community, hear their experiences on reopening, and get some tips and advice. If you haven’t read our complete guide on sanitation practices for salons and nail professionals ahead of your reopening, be sure to read the blog below.
We spoke to salon owners Lisa Phan-Hall, owner of a mobile nail salon, Nashville Nail Co., Leona Vergantina, owner of The Polish Nail Lounge, and Julie Le of Fill’in My Nails Salon who all filled us in on what it takes to reopen and how their salons are staying up-to-date with changes under new mandates and protocols. Then, we got the inside scoop from Pro Amy Le on sanitation basics salons should be incorporating into their reopening plans.
OPI: Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for taking the time to check in with us. How did you keep in touch with clients during this unprecedented time?
LPH: We kept up with clients through our social media. We have a big following on Instagram and it has only been one year since Nashville Nail Co. was created. Our clients are our forever friends.
OPI: It’s amazing you were able to keep in touch! Will you have requirements for clients sanitizing their homes prior to your team visiting them to ensure the health and safety of staff (i.e. wearing masks, gloves, etc.)?
LPH: We ask that our clients sanitize the area we will be working at (dining room table, kitchen top, bar top, islands, etc.) - My girls have been wearing masks and gloves and taking their shoes off before entering a client’s home – we also carry sanitizing wipes with us to wipe down gel machines and products we are using with the client at that appointment, make sure we aren’t touching our faces, and that we are performing proper hand hygiene before and after every client.
OPI: And where do you typically look to for guidance when strategizing precautions to take for reopening?
LPH: I look primarily at CDC guidelines and see what other businesses have done to ensure safety – we are lucky we are not in a physical salon because the restrictions on how many people can congregate in a location is quite low. Most of our clients are 1:1 and we ask everyone to not have any other people in the room (except for babies of course) while we are there.
OPI: With the reopening, are you changing and/or removing any services from your menu?
LPH: We did not have to change our menu but we did have to stop offering our light massages during this time. I have also had clients ask us to skip the light massage entirely because they know it’s coming up, which is totally fine with us!
OPI: Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us! Is there anything else you would like your clients to know at this time?
LPH: Please be patient when scheduling – it is a crazy time right now but we will get to you soon! It may take a couple of hours for a reply. If you’re a new client, we’ll need your full name, number, and address for booking, and of course, what service you would like to have done. We also have our COVID-19 precautions that you will need to read after your appointment is scheduled – this will tell you everything you need to know about the current changes to any service.
You can follow Lisa’s successful mobile nail salon @nashvillenailco for even more nail inspiration.
OPI: Hi Leona! Thanks so much for taking the time to reconnect with us, we’re so happy to see what you have been up to in preparation for your salon’s reopening. Could you share with us some of the steps you will be taking to sanitize your salon for reopening?
LV: We were previously in the middle of an expansion to the second floor and had plans to remodel our first floor as well before the pandemic hit, but we decided to go ahead and start the project while the salon was closed. Since closing, we have completely remodeled both floors and will be bringing in a cleaning company that will steam our furniture and completely sanitize our salon to meet CDC guidelines before reopening. We have also created customer and team member sanitation stations throughout the salon.
OPI: Have your clients expressed excitement to return to the salon? Have any been hesitant?
LV: We surveyed our customer base recently and we can say that 70% of our clients are confident enough in our sanitation practices, policies, and training to come back! Sadly, we did see that less than 10% said they would not return post-COVID-19 to any salon, not just ours.
OPI: What will outreach to clients look like when you reopen? Will you have the tools you need to offer information on the extra precautions and possible wait times that may arise?
LV: We will be emailing all of our clients our new protocols ahead of time. Additionally, we have created a waitlist for priority appointments to better serve our clients. We have extended our hours to accommodate all of our clients, and we are creating a video for our website about what to expect ahead of time for various services from start to finish. Lastly, all clients will be called by one of our team members a day prior to their appointment to cover any last-minute questions and go over any new protocol.
OPI: How will you maintain social distancing in the salon?
LV: We have created additional outdoor seating and have added more work stations for team members. We also created cubicles for each pedicure station that will create social barriers – these will be sanitized after each service. We added a final social barrier between team members and clients at manicure stations as well for added measures.
OPI: Given that COVID-19 has changed how nail salons provide services, do you think any of the recent changes will stick around in the future? (ie. gel removal to-go packs)
LV: We are so excited because this pandemic will actually give us the chance to rebrand and build a stronger, better brand. Our new sanitation protocol is going to be one that sticks with us for the lifetime of our business. We hope that one day we don’t have to use the social barriers, but masks and gloves will be something that will follow us through the life of our company! I am sure our existing clients and future ones to come will appreciate that as well.
OPI: Thanks so much for sharing and reconnecting with us! Would you like to share any additional thoughts?
LV: GOOD LUCK everyone! Stay safe and stay beautiful!
OPI Educator Julie Le created an incredible video to reassure her clients that her salon is taking the necessary steps to ensure a clean return. Watch the video below and get inspired to create your own video content.
Looking for ways to communicate with clients? We created a conversation guide to help you navigate difficult discussions around the current situation and help ensure clients feel at ease when returning to salons. This guide includes basic scripts you can follow when communicating via email, phone, even social media. Download the scripts below.
Nail Artist extraordinaire, Amy Le, shared a few tips on preparing salons for reopening during COVID-19, including adding plexiglass sneeze guards to stations and ensuring clients and employees wear masks. Watch her pro tips video and more by clicking the link below!
Follow @amyle.nails on Instagram for more Pro Tips and tons of inspirational nail art.
We hope you have a safe and successful reopening! Be sure to stay tuned for more advice as we expand our interviews with other OPI Educators who had a safe and successful reopening.
And as always, stay in touch. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and share advice or tips on @OPI_Professionals, head to our OPI Pro YouTube channel for inspiration, and visit us online to review OPI protocol or try nail art techniques at www.opi.com/opi-professionals.