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Milwaukee hair stylists help clients from home amid coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 9:56 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 22:56:02-04

WHITEFISH BAY — Local shops and restaurants that were recently forced to close are trying to find new ways to do business to keep some revenue coming in. Hairstylists at Honeycomb Salon in Whitefish Bay came up with a plan to help clients from home.

Elin Moore is the first recipient of an "at home" hair color kit. Cheane Sartler, the owner of Honeycomb Salon, dropped it off at the 6-year-old's house.

"It was my first time ever getting to color my hair," Elin said.

It was an effort by Elin's mom, Amy, to have some fun ahead of Elin's birthday. Like many parents, Amy is tasked with teaching and entertaining her four kids at home these days.

"It's been rough," Amy said. "I just thought, okay, here's our art lesson for the day. Instead of painting on paper, we're going to paint your hair!"

"I just wish I could be somewhere else to show people, instead of just staying in my house forever," Elin said.

Everyone shares that feeling in the beauty industry, which relies on clients to make ends meet.

"If no one is in our chair, we're not making any money," Sartler said. "Hopefully, this shut down doesn't have to be as long as expected, and we can get back to regular life. But we just want everyone to be safe."

During this interim, Cheane and some of her coworkers put together the "do-it-yourself" color kits.

"Yesterday, I sent out five of the kits in the mail and dropped off two at people's houses," she said. "I have my clients send me a picture of their hair color in natural light. Inside the kit, we put the color, and the developer. We give you directions on how to mix them together and apply. We also give you a brush, two gloves, and a mixing cup."

The stylists make themselves available via FaceTime to provide a tutorial or give moral support.

In this case, that support is mutual.

"I just really have been trying to seek out ways to support local businesses in our community affected by the pandemic," Amy said. "This is one way I could do it. It's more important than ever to figure out ways to buy local. You don't have to get everything on Amazon."

"We really appreciate that support," Sartler said. "We've also had some gracious clients Venmo or PayPal us a tip in advance, or they prepay for their service in the future. That's been incredible because obviously, we have no cash flow."

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