The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting mandated shutdown has had an impact on the professional beauty industry like no other event in history. To spotlight the resilience and determination of owners and their teams as they rebuild their businesses, SALON TODAY launches the Profiles in Courage series in partnership with Intercoiffure Canada-America. In this first one, we catch up with Chad Cantu, owner of Chad + Co. in Centennial, Colorado. 

SALON TODAY: How long were you closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Chad: Two months

ST: How many employees do you have?

ST: During closure, how did you engage and educate team members?
We had weekly meetings via zoom, and worked with Wella on a scheduled education that allowed us to have something to look forward to.

ST: During closure, how did you engage and educate clients?
We offered all clients 50% off all Chad+Co hair products and we also provided a root touch up kit. This was a great way for us to show are clients that we were willing to still help them with their color needs and engage in a way that was safe! 

ST: Did you have any team members who didn’t return after the closure?

ST: For you and your business, what has been the most challenging part of 2020?
We are so blessed to be open at this time and be able to provide for our family that I think what was the hardest part of 2020 was watching salons in California and other places in the country and world not being able to open, and also anyone in the service business like restaurants still unable to open at full capacity.

ST: What specific strategies have you developed to grow service and retail sales during this time?
This has been hard because we need to be smart and also understand that everyone is struggling in different ways. So, we have ongoing promotions with products that allow the guests to save money and keep trying new products.

ST: How does 2020 sales compare to 2019 sales?
You can't compare! We were on target to have the best year ever and we totally lost two months of revenue completely and then were confined to half capacity so all we can do is continue to scratch our way back to the top. We have been able to continue sales and seen some growth and are very grateful that we didn't have to let anyone go!

ST: What are you doing to keep team morale high?
Education and putting our team in a position to succeed. Pulling team members up to a level that they didn't know they could perform at and watching them excel.

ST: What other activities are you doing to strengthen your business at this time?
Social media is huge for us we invested in a team that is helping us grow faster and make an impact with our presence online.

ST: What are your marketing plans for the holiday season?
We are adding more package services and gift card sales and also running product promotions that give our guests more value for their money. Because so many retail stores and boutiques have closed or are operating with diminished inventory, it has made the shopping experience dull for most. We brought in some specialty lines while retail stores remained closed. We now carry Balmain accessories and several other specialty lines such as Saint, I Profumi di Firenze, Antica Farmacista and Pigmint which produce body products, fragrances and candles. This allows people to smell and feel different products that they probably wouldn't otherwise experience the same way.

ST: How has being a member of Intercoiffure helped you through this tough year?
Knowing that I have a network of the most inspirational people in our industry that I can contact at any time to share ideas with is an invaluable resource that I can trust to help me with and through anything. I spoke with a dear friend of mine who I would not have met if not for Intercoiffure, Candy Shaw, and we talked about what was happening with each other’s business and shared ideas of how we were going to navigate through these times. I am so grateful for the relationships that I have developed through this great organization.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.