We've had Phase 1 and Phase 2 and now we're onto Phase 3...
They say necessity is the mother of invention and we have found that to be very much the case here at Belle & Blackley.
Lockdown #1 forced us to re-evaluate our work/life balance and coming out of lockdown, returning to work, forced us to think outside the box to create a totally new working environment that was safe, satisfying and sustainable.
So we came up with Phase 1 - a reduced menu of services, staff working in 'style teams', reduced staff contact, reduced client footfall - all of which could have made our working environment clinical and lacking a bit of soul....
But in fact what started to reveal itself was a much more enjoyable working experience for our clients and for our team.
We enjoyed a much more relaxed pace, more time with our clients, more time with ourselves, less interruptions, less phone calls, quieter music, more breaks, better preparation with our online consultation forms, less faffing at the till due to the prepayment system, less missed appointments - a massive loss to any business.
But we definitely missed the buzz of the blow dryer, the flow of creativity that comes with more intricate colour work, the thrill of seeing the transformative effect of the finished look - so we knew we had to come up with a way to add more services but maintain all the positive effects of this new way of working.
So following Lockdown #2 we moved onto Phase 2 - a full service menu, stylists working safely in their dedicated areas and dedicated 'Style Teams' and colour packages designed to simplify the booking experience and maximise time with your stylist.
That kept us ticking along on the run up to Christmas and Lockdown #3.
So now, as we prepare to return this spring, for Phase 3, we will be looking at maintaining the high standards of safety that we have now adopted as the new norm and increasing the creativity we can all relish as stylists on the salon floor.
During Lockdown #3 the team have been busy behind the scenes working on our techniques, training with our partners at Wella and also taking part in lots of wellness seminars - from mindfulness to comedy nights to ted talks about aliens (!!!!)
Coming back to work this time will be about maintaining the balance of a healthy work/life and using everything we've learnt over the last few months to take our work to the next level.
Photographic work, competitions and a return to some client evenings as soon as it is safe to do so are all on the cards.
We're excited about his next Phase for team Belle & Blackley and look forward to welcoming you all into the salon soon.