Without small business, we’re nothing. TheLatch— and GoDaddy have teamed up to rally behind local businesses and entrepreneurs during this unprecedented time of change.
We’re speaking to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country to better understand how they’re adapting to stay open, how they’re keeping their community safe, and how we can support them now during this time, and beyond. We’re focused on keeping Australia open for business, even if doors are closed. #OpenWeStand
Ann Hendren in the owner and operator of Skin Essentials, a beauty salon located in Western Sydney. Hendren has been in the skincare business for 19 years and her knowledge of skin is expansive.
At Skin Essentials, Hendren and her three dedicated team members offer services like microdermabrasion and skin needling as well as hair removal and massage treatments.
Hendren has temporarily closed the doors on Skin Essentials due to government restrictions and has since turned her focus to online offerings.
“I am now doing virtual consultations and providing delivery of retail products to existing clients,” Hendren told TheLatch—.
“Let’s be honest there is enough going on without feeling awful about the way your skin is looking. I also make a lot of calls and just do welfare checks on our clients. I am happy to listen to them have their vent about the current situation we all find ourselves in. Let’s be honest, we all need to vent!”
We spoke to Ann Hendren about the reality of running a small business and how she has adapted to the change brought about by COVID-19.
Alexandra McCarthy: Let’s start from the very beginning — can you please tell me about your business and why you launched it?
Ann Hendren: Skin Essentials was established in Westfield Mt Druitt in 2003. In 2015 I decided that Westfield was running my life and with a new fit-out and another five-year lease on the horizon I decided to relocate the salon.
I found our current premises in the Star Arcade in St Marys as an empty space. I decided that in a position like that I would be able to service our clients and at the same time regain some of my life. No more trading seven days a week. Best thing I have ever done.
I love people, and love to make people feel and look their best. Beauty was the way to go.
AM: What are some of the highlights you’ve experienced since opening Skin Essentials?
AH: There have been many highs and lows over the years. I think the most memorable thing that comes to mind is all the amazing clients I have met. I have watched young girls grow into women and have their own families, pursue awesome careers and generally become valuable parts of the community.
Of course, there is nothing better than helping clients to achieve their skin care goals and in turn, their confidence is boosted.
AM: When did your business first start to feel the effects of COVID-19?
AH: Skin Essentials first felt the effects of COVID-19 in late February. People were becoming wary of going out and obviously being in the salon as it is close and personal.
Currently, the salon is closed, so I have moved the retail stock and computer to my home.
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What??? It's already MOTHERS DAY ? YES, it sure is…and because we LOVE you all so much, we're opening our doors this SATURDAY 9/5 for all last minute Gift Voucher sales ? In the meantime, you can arrange a Gift Voucher by calling the Salon ☎️ 9833 1689 – and we'll deliver it for you! Drop a hint in the comments below if you want your loved ones to buy you a Skin Essentials Gift Voucher ? FYI: Gift Vouchers can be used for product and treatment sales and are valid for 3 years from date of purchase.
AM: Have you changed your offering since closing the store?
AH: I am now doing virtual consultations and providing delivery of retail product to existing clients. Let’s be honest there is enough going on without feeling awful about the way your skin is looking. I also make a lot of calls and just do welfare checks on our clients. I am happy to listen to them have their vent about the current situation we all find ourselves in. Let’s be honest, we all need to vent!
I was challenged at the start of this pivot in the business as I am not accustomed to sitting for hours in front of a computer. I find I get up and pace the house a lot, maybe that is cabin fever [laughs]. This time has also given me the opportunity to tidy up a lot of files and other back end work.
There hasn’t been too much downtime for me.
“I was challenged at the start of this pivot in the business as I am not accustomed to sitting for hours in front of a computer.”
AM: How can customers support you in the short term? Is it by engaging with your social media posts or purchasing gift vouchers to use in the future?
AH: Our clients have been very supportive with their engagement on social media and also ordering retail from us. We have had a few voucher sales, I think the uncertainty of when we will reopen has had an effect on vouchers.
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They’re calling it “ISO SKIN” ? Unusual breakouts, congestion, oiliness, age spots, dehydration, irritation and/or dullness are just some of the common concerns we are all experiencing with our new “at-home” lifestyle ? If you’re experiencing ISO SKIN, we would love to hear from you and get you + your skin back on track ?
AM: Do you think the way you operate your business will be changed for good?
AH: I think the beauty industry will change when we are allowed to reopen however it will always be a personal experience so I guess we will wait and see what restrictions the government place on us. The ‘touchy-feely’ part of our industry will never change.
AM: What advice do you have for other business owners?
My advice to anyone who has a passion to exceed it “never ever give up”. Being a business owner is not as easy or financially rewarding as many people think. There are many sacrifices you make along the way. If you think you can run a business in only five days a week, think again. There is always plenty to do in the back end.
“Being a business owner is not as easy or financially rewarding as many people think.”
AM: What do you think we will all learn from this experience?
The world has learnt to slow down. I am hoping that people will learn to value and appreciate their employment more. We all get out of bed at some stage and complain about going to work — [it’s a] different story when there is no job to go to.
I think we have learnt that Australia, greatest place on earth, is relying on overseas manufacturing and that once upon a time we were more self-sufficient.
I’m also hoping that people have a little more gratitude for the things that they take for granted.