Two Years Later and Yes, We Are Open

I can’t believe that two years ago March 14, 2020, I, like nearly every other business, closed my business while I anxiously waited to learn my future.

Two years. Holy Shit.

Two years later and the world is on fire and all of this loss and reinvention feels completely insignificant compared to what is going on in UKRAINE.

Talking about business survival for the last two years is almost embarrassing in light of this crisis, yet at the same time, I can’t imagine not acknowledging the last two year experience as a business owner so please forgive my indulgence.

There is a collective understanding among business owners who are still standing, a unique club we are all part of, that gives us a sense of personal understanding between each other.

We have learned that we are more determined, more passionate, more resilient than we ever thought we were capable of as business owners and as humans.

Things Will Never Be The Same

Two years later- COVID and small business

Our businesses will never be the same and I have learned that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just a thing that is part of the natural order of things. Owning and running a business is never what it seems when I reflect back on the starry eyed dreams of it on the piece of paper in my fantasy world of, When I own my own business…

Business owning has taught me almost as much about myself as being a mother has.

There has never been a dull moment.

Running a business is a fluid living and breathing organism. I have always felt that it allowed me the freedom to be away when I wanted to and commanded my return when it needed my attention.

My business has always provided for me in more ways than financial. Twenty-one years later from my first day of opening and two years later from its complete reinvention, HERE I STAND. AGAIN.

I Still Love It

Oddly, I am enjoying my business as much, if not more, than the first pencil scratch on the imaginary napkin way back in 2000 when I first started considering it as a possibility.

This last two year experience taught me that I needed a major push off of the cliff to realize that change was necessary- maybe not on the surface, maybe not for the clients or my team, but for me.

I hadn’t realized my complacency and the wake up call that was 2020 was a major one. I wasn’t sure we would ever reopen doing actual services back in March 2020, so I was forced to reorganize and create a brand new business.

It was a personal reckoning that shook me up and exploded me out like a two liter bottle of soda.

In the thick of all of this mayhem, I managed to achieve one of my goals of finishing my first book. This has provided at least one good dose of personal satisfaction.

By now most of my clients have found their way to my beautiful improved website where every product we sell in store is there waiting.

We Are Open

What many still don’t know is that we have been open for services by appointment since August 2020.

So YES. We are open.

It astounds me when people ask me when we are opening for services again.

But here we are. We are open. We have been open.

We are no longer open in Providence, though, so maybe this is where the confusion lies. This decision was the most painful and agonizing business decision I ever had to make during the early part of Covid hell.

But Bristol remains very open, though on a much smaller and more emotionally manageable scale. I have been deliberate with this intention as I have learned that smaller is better for my big and busy brain.

We are open Wednesdays, Fridays and most Saturdays (and one Tuesday a month) by appointment only.

With four mighty employees, we only run one to two treatment rooms at a time making for a much more intimate and relaxing experience.

We aren’t able to service groups anymore, even parties of two is difficult. Limited staffing by choice and group gatherings these days still feels a little awkward as we are constantly readjusting our mental capacity for the ever changing world we live in.

Simple Is Better- For Me

I need simpler business. I didn’t realize this until Covid. Maybe if I was in my thirties or early forties just starting out, I would be open full throttle, but it just doesn’t work for my life anymore so I am keeping it small on purpose. For now anyway.

My boutique is my new love and my new direction. This is my major focus and joy, delivering product and handmade curated gift boxes to use beauty as a springboard to spread kindness differently.

Services will continue to be a foundation for maintaining a successful business, but providing services has become incredibly expensive. We have adapted to this by making changes to all of our services and our service time in order to stay in business. We have made changes to how we do business to requiring prepayment for all services and a strict cancellation policy. This may not serve everyone’s palette, but it is the only way we can keep providing the level of service clients have come to expect from ALAYNE WHITE.

Prices and times may have changed, but our high level of quality and service has only improved. For this I have my team to thank who show up every day, wear masks with no complaints in 10x12 rooms for hours at a time and smile and care like my business is their own.

Despite the change of mask mandate, we will continue to wear masks in the treatment rooms as we have found that flus and colds have virtually disappeared among the team because of this addition. Masks in the treatment rooms are here to stay.

I am humbled by my small team of four and their care for me this past two years. They have lead me far more than I have lead them.

If you have a gift card that you want to use, you need to schedule the service called “Facial using a gift card.” If you want a different service, we can change it when you come in on the day of your service because all of our services are the same amount of time these days.

It is two years later since we closed our doors as a company and we are not back to normal. There is no normal, there is just today, the present. Still standing, where I will always be as long as I am granted the privilege of waking up on the right side of the ground.

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