When Jillian Sherman opened Zokkoz Salon in Briarcliff Manor in 2015, her first thought was that she wanted to partner with Aveda because their products are all-natural and safe.
“I share Aveda’s vision of taking care of our bodies, as well as taking care of the world,” said Jillian. “Our number one priority no matter who walks in the door is to offer a safe service that solves their needs.”
Little did she know that her safety-first approach would prepare her and her staff for the changes she had to implement when reopening Zokkoz in June, following three months of COVID-19 closure.
“Just like my concern with product safety, my first thought was how am I going to create a safe environment,” noted Jillian. Now that safety-first approach starts before her clients even walk through the door. Zokkoz even offers its services outside for those who would rather not be inside the salon.
Many of the safety changes Jillian implemented were facilitated by Aveda based on discussions with doctors and the SBA (Small Busines Administration). Others were specific to her salon, including increasing the hours to have fewer stylists and customers in the salon at any given time, installing a new ventilation system, and temporarily halting certain services that can’t be performed while both the stylist and the client wear a mask.
Each client signs a waiver indicating they understand all the safety protocols that have been put in place, has their temperature taken before entering the salon and washes their hands immediately upon entering.
Over the past month, Jillian has seen that customers have also changed their approach to seeking out businesses that address their needs. From an influx of new clients who used to go to New York City to get their hair done, to clients who want to reduce the number of businesses they visit for their various beauty needs, Jillian sees an opportunity for businesses that do the right thing to come back even stronger.
“In December, we started offering manicures and we will begin offering manicures and pedicures this month in a secluded, safe space,” noted Jillian. And once it is safe, Zokkoz will also resume offering full spa services. “We’ve already found that many of our clients would rather have access to all beauty services in one place in order to lessen their risk.”
And more than just feeling safe, Jillian believes this pandemic has made people more inclined to support local business. “Small businesses that come out of this will succeed even more because people see the impact this has had on our community and want to support their neighbors.”
Alain Begun is Publisher of River Journal and River Journal North.