‘It feels like we’re opening a new shop every time we’re told we can start trading again’
STOP-START LOCKDOWN LIFE FOR NEW SALON
STARTING up a business is hard regardless, but starting one at the beginning of a global pandemic is even harder.
Lawra Burnett started her Grimsby-based business, BA Hair & Beauty, in February last year. However, being unable to open her doors due to lockdown meant she didn’t welcome her first customers until September 2020.
It wasn’t to be the only hiccup for Lawra though. After only being open for a month, the UK was thrust into another lockdown and she was forced to close her doors once more.
Now, as restrictions ease, Lawra hopes she can keep her business open and make a success of it going forward.
She said: “During the first lockdown, it was the complete unknown that scared me the most. No one had any idea how long the coronavirus pandemic would go on for. I have to say, it went on for far longer than I thought it would. “I didn’t know what was going to happen and neither did anyone else. I was busy trying to get myself set up, but I couldn’t get any electricians or plumbers in to work on the building so our timeline for opening was ruined.
“We ended up opening a lot later than we would have originally liked and sadly that meant we were only open for around a month when we had to close our doors for the second lockdown.
“After the second, we opened for another month, but had to shut the shop all over again when the third lockdown was announced. I was absolutely gutted.
“We had a plan of when we were going to open and about taking things steady while we found our feet, but all that was ruined. It feels like we’re opening a new shop every time we’re told we can start trading again.
“The stop start nature at the minute is really worrying to me. No one knows what the next few months will hold, regardless of where we are at now in terms of lockdown being eased.” Looking ahead, Lawra is reflecting on where she wishes to take he business and how she believes people will react to a return to normal life as we’re eased out of lockdown.
“Yesterday was really busy, but people are coming in dribs and drabs at the minute.
“I think, especially in the older generation, people are scared to come outside, meaning businesses aren’t as busy as some might have thought.
“I know that’s how my Nana feels, she washes her knives and forks everyday, the past year has really got to her. “However, I think the younger generation are just ready to get back to normal life and get on with things.
“Going forward, we’re just going to keep doing what we can and supporting others as and when we can.”
Hair stylists Chelsea Bateson and Tahlia Ford were equally as excited as Lawra to open the shop once more. Tahlia said: “It’s good to be back in a routine again and have some normality.
“It’s strange having to work in masks and it’s been really hectic getting everyone booked in, but it feels good to get back into it.” Fellow employee Chelsea said: “I’m thrilled to get back to doing my job again. I’ve been a hair stylist for three years now and I’ve never known anything like the past 12 months.”