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Coping with COVID: Lakeside Salon

Katelyn Draper at the Lakeside Salon. Draper has had to keep a positive attitude as owner of the salon and during the current pandemic.

FAIRMONT — Katelyn Draper, owner of Lakeside Salon and Spa, started her business in March of 2019, but being told to shut down her business in March of 2020 due to COVID-19 protocol was a tough thing to hear. But Draper stayed positive through it all.

Draper’s career in cutting hair spans 12 years, but she was given the chance to purchase the Lakeside Salon in March of 2019. Draper liked the idea and tried out her own little business in Fairmont that has been fun for her.

Draper, like other salons, had to shut down her business due to COVID-19 restrictions. Draper’s employees had to pay rent while the salon was closed. Draper had signed a contract, which to her, was less than ideal since Draper and her co-workers are paid by clientele and not on base pay or salary.

Draper applied for a Cares Act Grant that helped get her through the two shutdowns. If it wasn’t for the support of her co-workers and the community, it would have been tougher than it already was being a new small business owner.

“It was hard having all of your bills and being closed for two months,” Draper said, “That’s not very fun.”

At the start of pandemic, Draper thought that they could tackle and handle the setbacks. As time went on, Draper found it devastating, scary and felt nervous about her business. In the end, she and her staff stayed positive especially when the shutdown came on the anniversary of her starting the business.

Draper and her staff have implemented a positive attitude and created an uplifting environment in the salon. Draper admits it’s been a struggle since there can only be so many people inside of her salon, trying to stay 6 feet apart, and cutting hair with a mask on and the clients wearing masks. Draper found that cutting hair on clients wearing a mask was challenging at first, but like all things in life, eventually, mastered working around the safety protocols.

“It’s an easy way to get down,” Draper said. “When you can only have half of your clients and make half as much money as I said, stay positive.”

Since the business’ reopening, Draper feels good that people have either bought products or gift certificates during the shutdown and now can go back for some services in person.

“I think our community really supports small businesses,” Draper said. “They’re like we’re going to go out and support this small business.”

Draper feels like the business has stayed pretty steady, but the older clientele has not returned as much due to the precautions of COVID-19. Along with that services such as facials and waxing have been dropped due to COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates since it comes to keeping your face covered and protected.

Draper’s lasting message she wants to send the readers and community appreciation because if it wasn’t for the community she might not have a business right now.

“In general, it was literally terrifying opening a brand new business and being shut down,” Draper said. “But having the support of my community, co-workers, friends and family, and all of us coming together made it happen.”

Lakeside Salon and Spa is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a story about coping with COVID-19 whether you are a restaurant owner, small business owner, or an individual who would like to share your story, contact Sentinel Staff Writer Blake Faith via his email: bfaith@fairmontsentinel.com.

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