So, there are some risks with Mobile Hair Services, especially with New Clients:-
*Safety of my property
*Risk of not being paid upon arrival for last minute appointments
*Being “set up” for last minute appointments
The later two I have experienced, the first two by the grace of God I have not experienced. So this led me to seeking out a physical space which entail subletting a chair at a salon space, having access to their sink, standing dryer etc for a monthly rent.
This would also allow me walk ins, actually building that face to face interactions with clients, getting a feel for what clients actually want and need etc. As a relatively new stylist, I needed to have my rent within a certain budget. And initially I found ONE taker.
We signed paperwork, sent in my deposit, was revving up to get started on May 1st. Then, life happened. There was constant back and forth between renters and building management about extending opening hours of the space OR allowing them a key to leave out of a back exit when they do happen to go beyond closing hours. Which can definitely happen with hair.
If most people work 8am to 4pm and the mall closes at 6pm, there is not a lot that could happen during the week in two hours. The only FULL day for services would be a Saturday because there were also no allowances made for Sundays and Holidays. They did not need to be open Sunday to Sunday, but allowances could have been made for busy/peak times like Carnival, Mother’s Day, July-August Vacation, Christmas etc. And management refused to budge.
That lead to a lot of their renters picking up and leaving and that left me AGAIN without a chair. I was put on to another renter who was moving to a space nearby and she was taking on subletters within my price range. We meet once to talk about the potential arrangements and a second time to view the premises. At meeting two, this is what happened:-
We were meeting up at her current spot for 3pm. I got there a couple minutes early. The first thing she asked is if I braid. And I do, not my favourite service but I’m capable. She had a walk-in for waist length knotless braids while she already had two booked clients for the evening. Apparently the land lady for the new place had not yet arrived to open the space so I had time to begin.
There was only one salon chair in her current space so I had to set up by the vacant nail station. The client was seated on a regular chair from the waiting area. She spoke no English but was really sweet and patient. Before most hair services I wash and dry the client’s hair MYSELF to ensure their hair and scalp is really clean and that there hair is moisturised but not heavy. But, we did not have time for that. And the client claimed to have washed her hair the previous day.
So I began by detangling her hair. I would have preferred a brush to really stimulate her scalp. I was given one butterfly clip, one rat tail comb and one wide toothed comb. The client brought her own holding product and extensions. It took may be 15 minutes to detangle her hair and then I started from the back and worked my way up in a brick-lay pattern.
After completing the first row, the landlady for the new spot arrived and I had to excuse myself to see the space, which is what I had originally planned to do that afternoon. It was just over the street from the current space.
It is a first floor (up 1 flight of stairs) space, open area that supposedly has enough airflow when all the windows are open. There was only ONE old A/C unit in one of the back rooms. There was a kitchen, restroom, limited electrical outlets, cupboard storage in one of the larger rooms where I assume the main services would be held as well as staff and patron parking.
Because of the set up at the original spot, it seems like I would need to get my own furniture (salon chair, station etc.). Having NO air conditioning in this day and age with our climate while a client is draped under a cape and towels reeks of discomfort. The storage cannot be locked for security purposes either.
I had to get back to my client. When I was on the third row just on her occipital bone she needed a smoke break so I gave her a 2 minutes. Coming down to 6pm we got a friendly reminder from building security that he would be closing up at 6pm. We quickly wrapped up to head upstairs where apparently those tenants can leave late through the back door.
We completed her braids on a bench in the heat or stagnant air. We borrowed a kettle and container from a colleague to seal and curl the ends of her braids and the client was happy with the end results. She twerked and took a bunch of pictures. She was charged $250.00 TTD.
For 3.5 hours of my time, a client would be paying more than that for braids from Curli Beauti. I would also want them to be safe, clean, comfortable and have my full attention. I can safely say, this is NOT the place for me and where I would want to build a clientele. So I am still in search of a space to have you Beautis in so I can provide the best service and care to you.