I Opened My Dream Salon, Then COVID-19 Shut It Down

Curated via Twitter from Allure’s twitter account….

Her days at home are a drastic change of pace, but with extra time on her hands, she says that she's been able to put aspects of her personal and professional life in perspective and meaningfully reflect. "It’s hard to be an owner and a stylist, and in this time I really thought about my role in the business, whether I want to be so hands-on," Pettitt shares. "[Post-pandemic] I’m just going to slow down.

Then, on March 23, only a week after the natural hair salon’s two-month anniversary, owner Niá Pettitt had to shutter  — London was going under lockdown due to COVID-19. "Initially, I thought it would be a month, so I thought we’d reopen at the end of April," Pettitt tells Allure. "But when it got to mid-April and there were still no announcements, that’s when I knew it’ll probably last until June or July.

Content creator and business owner Niá Pettitt opened her first natural hair salon, The Curlbar London, only two months before lockdown measures began in the U. K.

I’ve just come to realize that [the pandemic] is much bigger than me, it’s much bigger than The Curl Bar, and to be able to even survive through it and come out still with a peace of mind is the best achievement that anyone could have," she says. "I believe that, as a business owner, because I’ve been able to survive this, I can survive anything.

Reflecting on her entrepreneurial journey often makes her emotional. "Being able to have an idea in a notepad or a visualization in your head and then actually seeing it in real life is just the most amazing experience," Pettitt says. "Every time I think of the shop, I think of the work I put in and how much I learned.

It will give Pettitt the opportunity to give back and resume The Curl Bar London’s journey. "I think I would defo want to do an initiative to show my gratitude towards the community, like a spa day in the shop," she says. "I think it’ll just be nice to reconnect with [the salon], find ways to improve it, and also appreciate it for what it is and how far it’s come.

Since we can't visit right now, Pettitt describes the shop’s mellow ambiance to Allure: fresh tea served to clients, incense burning every morning, a Polaroid mural of past clients that faces the waiting area, an escape from a busy street. "I really wanted to make [the salon] an experience as opposed to walking in, getting your hair done, and leaving.

However, Pettitt wasn’t concerned with whether her clients would support her business during this trying time. "I understand that my clients are normal people who have mortgages and student loans and different things like that," Pettitt says.

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