The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic affected some business owners more than others. Hair stylist Nessa Sherringham, for example, was left with no other option but to vacate her popular hair salon in Knockcroghery and open up shop – when permitted to do so – at home.
“I remember being in the salon when we first heard that Covid was going to hit Ireland. We had held a hugely successful masterclass just the week before we were told to shut down. I knew very early on that it would be impossible to adhere to social distancing because the salon was so small.
“When the time came to reopen, I decided to move out to my house where I have a purpose-built studio and can work one on one with clients,” she said.
Unsurprisingly, Nessa was devastated to leave her successful salon and hard-working and talented staff behind but Covid had left her no choice.
“We had a very busy salon and stylists working hard with customers coming and going throughout the day, it just wasn’t possible to socially distance without it being one to one.
“Please God when things go back to normal I’ll be able to go back to how it was before,” she said.
For now though, Nessa’s making the most of her current situation whenever restrictions allow.
“I’m closed for appointments now of course, but when we were allowed to open it was nice that my work was just outside my back door. It gave me more time at home with my two girls and my husband Liam. It also meant that I could work the hours that suited me. I work late into the night and that suits my customers who come to me after work,” she said.
Nessa’s daughters, Molly (4) and Katie (3) are delighted to have her home and there have been other benefits too.
“It has given me more time to really look at my business and see how I might improve it. Last Christmas, I launched an online shop at www.thehairlounge.ie and that’s really flying it. I sell hair care products and electrical items like straighteners, etc., as well as vouchers.
“I’ve also been able to go back and do some training online to become a hair educator. I’m doing my exams in that at the moment. I’ve always trained the younger stylists in the salon so it’s something I really enjoy,” she said.
It has been over three months since hairdressers and barbers were permitted to open, something that seemed unfathomable during Nessa’s successful masterclass in March 2020. She is hopeful, however, that it won’t be too much longer before she can see her clients again.
“Client-wise, I would have had people of all ages coming to me and big events like weddings have still gone ahead during lockdown. It can be a big source of stress for the bride-to-be so I offer Zoom demonstrations of how to do up-styles. My clients have been really patient but it has been a long wait since Christmas Eve so hopefully we’ll be given the go-ahead to reopen soon,” she said.