Getting ready to restart: Mel, from the The Mop Shop, chats.
As we start to move towards businesses re-opening under new guidelines, our thoughts turn to those businesses that rely on hands-on services like beauticians, healthcare treatments and, in the Mop Shop’s case, hair styling.
Under government guidelines, we’re told to be alert, and to maintain our distance from each other – but just how do we plan to do that, if our business requires us to be hands-on. We speak to Mel King, owner of Beaminster’s Mop Shop – a business that’s had their doors open for since 1987, for 23 years!
How have you used the lockdown and how has it affected the Mop Shop?
Mel tells me that she’s used this time to plan and prepare for restarting. Much the same as with many other businesses in the same boat, she’s been focussing on providing a new environment where both her team, and her clients will be safe and secure, under the government guidelines. “I’ve had to sort out PPE, plan for social distancing procedures and re-planning appointment times to allow everyone enough space to social distance, and the team enough time to sanitise between appointments. We’ll be working on a 1-2-1 limit, and won’t allow anybody to wait for appointments – so we’ve had to finetune our usual way of working,” she tells me.
So, what will happen when people arrive for their appointments?
“I’ve put out a series of videos on The Mop Shop’s Facebook page, which people should watch if they have any questions. Unfortunately, as much as we would like, things will certainly not be ‘the same as usual’. This means that there won’t be the additional little luxuries of cups of tea, and chatting. We’re working on a necessity-basis first, to help us get things going again. This means that customers will need to adhere to a new set of guidelines when they arrive.”
- Customers coming to their appointments by themselves (not bringing friends / family-members along)
- All customers are being advised to wear face masks that fit around their ears – still enabling us to be able to work with their hair without any interference from headwear.
- All customers are also being advised to bring their own covering to substitute the usual gowns they wear in the salon. We’re asking people to do this because while we are trying to keep everyone safe, we’re also really trying to minimise our impact on the environment, and limit the amount of excessive plastic waste we’re using and producing. We’re asking customers to bring their own covering, in the form of a towel, a sheet, an outdoor coat, even ponchos if they need to. Naturally, we will have a few extras in case people forget, and for those with colour – we’ll have a few spare gowns to use. The more our customers can help us act sustainably while keeping us all safe, the better it will be for us all.
- Customers will be required to wait outside, and will be called into the salon when their appointments are ready. There will be a big poster in the window of the shop which will explain the entire process clearly.
- Anyone who is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, as well as any customers who are experiencing symptoms due to hayfever or asthma (sneezing, coughing) are being asked not to attend their appointment. We are trying to reduce all forms of airborne contamination – even if it’s not related to Covid-19.
“It’s very different – but I’m sure that with everyone’s cooperation, and understanding, we can make this work for all of us. The businesses need to open, and people need to be kept safe. Working together will enable that to happen efficiently,” she tells me.
When do you plan to re-open again and what are bookings like?
“Our phone is not operational at the moment, but we’re already taking bookings via our Facebook page. We’ve contacted and booked in most of our customers who were cancelled because of the lockdown, so if people want to make bookings – they need to contact us via our Facebook page.
We plan to open ou doors again on Monday 6 July, if all goes according to plan. We’ll also, at that point, be opening our phone lines for bookings again, but will not be able to answer the phone as it rings – due to the risk of cross-contamination. Customers can call in, and simply leave a message with their contact details, and we’ll then get back to them and get them booked in.
It’s important for customers to realise that unfortunately, we will not be able to offer the luxuries of teas and coffees, magazines to read etc. And we’re even asking our customers to keep chit chat to a minimum – especially when they’re at the washing station – this is to prevent any transfer of airborne germs to ourselves, as well as to themselves too,” she adds.
Mel tells me that they’ve had to review the types of services they offer; things that usually took 3-4 hours now have to be reduced to enable their updated sanitising procedures, bookings etc to flow smoothly, and to keep infection transfer reduced. This means that where possible, we’ll need to reduce the services we offer. Services like Perms and in-depth colour treatments won’t be available at first.
If you have any questions about the services available, or you would like to make a booking, please contact Mel via her Facebook Page here, or call the salon when it’s open in July, on 01308 863323.
We wish both Mels at the Mop Shop all the very best and look forward to seeing their smiling faces again soon!