by Alison Bailey, Photos courtesy of LoneStar Salon
Tumwater-based beauty bar LoneStar Salon is one of many local establishments closed as a result of the governor’s mandated Stay Home order. Luckily for the team at LoneStar, and for many other local beauty experts and salons, LoneStar’s owner, Lisa Musgrove, is not afraid to take charge and start organizing.
Lisa contacted the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce in the earliest days of the crisis to get all the information she could about resources for her business and her employees. She realized that many local salons, spas and stylists might benefit from the information she was getting from the Chamber, so she established the Pacific Mountain Salons & Spas Resource page on Facebook.
Working with Megan Fiess, the Chamber’s Workforce Division Project Manager, Lisa funnels as much information pertinent to the beauty industry as she can onto the Facebook page. It has over 100 members from Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Pacific and Grays Harbor counties as of late April. “I would not have been as successful as I was in those first few weeks without Megan’s support,” Lisa explains.
In the early days, much of the content shared in the Facebook group was about small business grants for salon owners and unemployment guidance for individual stylists. As the situation has evolved, so has the discussion.
“The buzz on the page these days is all about how to prepare for a comeback,” says Lisa. Salon owners are collaborating to determine efforts they can make right now that won’t waste time, such as cleaning out beauty product inventory. Like so many industries, this community of beauty experts is working to imagine what their daily conduct will look like in the post-outbreak world.
Although she takes pride in helping fellow members of the beauty industry, Lisa’s priority is LoneStar and the 22-person team that contributes to its success every day. Like so many of us, she now spends many of her working hours on Zoom. Like with the Facebook group, her goal is to keep people she cares about connected and engaged.
Her team meets as a group at least once a week to stay in touch, keep up morale and brainstorm for the future of the salon. Lisa also has one on one video chats with every member of her team at least once a week. “I feel like I’ve gotten to know my team even better in the last month,” she says.
Lisa hopes to recapture some of the momentum LoneStar was enjoying before the COVID-19 crisis hit. Her business model is education-driven, and her associate training program was ready to grow with the help of a newly appointed lead stylist. Since physically close job shadowing won’t be an option for a while, Lisa and her team are ready to get creative when it comes to the hands-on experience they offer new stylists.
Leaders like Lisa and the businesses they shepherd through the era of COVID-19 will be the reason our local economy can thrive again as soon as possible.