The beauty industry is getting its turn under phase 3, but it’s not another day at work for some north country business owners.
“I’m really glad to be back to work but at the same time, it’s going to take some time to get used to,” said Joey Tran, owner of JoLi Nails and Spa in Plattsburgh.
Clients were eager to get back in the chair, after a long 10 weeks without manicures or pedicures. They’ll notice some changes inside, like the glass dividers at each station, and fewer clients during their visit as the state only allow 50% capacity. Tran feels the time off not only affected his business, but as an artist, his craft.
“My hand is not where it used to be, just like anything as an artist, you have to give yourself time to come back,” he said. “Getting used to the drummel, the file, you take 10 weeks off from holding your hand like this, and you come back and do it for an hour, it’s painful on your back, your neck and shoulders.”
Tran says he’ll have to spend extra time with clients and also allow 15 minutes between each appointment for cleaning. Around the corner at In Living Color Tattooing, artists are feeling the same pressure surrounding sanitation.
“Tattoo shops are under more scrutiny than most other businesses,” said James Porter, a tattoo artist. “We’re dealing with open skin and blood so we need to maintain a level of sterility with our equipment whereas a lot of other hair salons, just need to make sure things are sanitary.”
It’ll be another week or so before the parlor opens. When they do, tattoos will be done in shorter sessions, because bathroom breaks and cigarette breaks won’t be allowed.
Businesses are optimistic, but ask for patience from the public as they adjust.
“At the end of the day, we’re all human and we can’t do what do what the government can’t allow us,” Tran said. “Things happen, life happens, you just move on and put your right foot forward and keep walking.”
In the coming weeks, the city of Plattsburgh will look forward to phase 4. That includes the reopening of gyms, shopping malls, museums, and concert halls.