Brooklyn based stylist Michaella Blissett-Williams has gone back to her "roots".
After opening four [Salon] 718 locations in Brooklyn over the last eight years, she's back to where she started caring for clients. She’s now operating out of her basement.
She's now selling what she calls "survival kits" which contain everything her clients need to color their hair at home.
She came up with the idea a day before closing her salons in March as the coronavirus spread.
She said that when clients began canceling appointments, she knew staying open wasn’t an option.
Within days, she launched a website and began selling her personalized products online.
"I think it was a little unrealistic to ask your client to wait and not do their roots for three months,” said Blissett-Williams.
A special feature at her salons, pre-pandemic, helped to make it possible.
Blissett-Williams keeps every clients' "hair color profile" in a database.
That allows her to create the exact hair-coloring they need, without an in person consultation.
For new customers, virtual color consults are available online.
Anyone can request a one-on-one tutorial on how to color their hair themselves.
"The last thing we want is for people to go and damage their hair with, you know, these box colors you get from the super market or drug store,” said Christine Valentin, who works at [Salon] 718.
The salons' current clients are beyond grateful the kits are available.
“A box color on me can go really, really wrong. I can pick a dark brown and it will come out red , red, red. So, having my hair color, that I love, really helped me feel good about myself,” said Wendy Bobadilla, a [Salon] 718 client.
"Being able to color my hair at home has really helped me to maintain my sense of well-being and my sense of identity,” said Vicky Lamont, also a [Salon] 718 client.
The kits have also helped Blissett-Williams recoup some of the revenue she's lost by closing her salons.
"It was a great way for them to support us during this time," said Blissett-Williams.
She told NY1 that her salons will outgrow the need for the home hair kits once they re-open.
What the experience has taught her, however, is that she can adapt.
It’s a skill that's now helping her plan for [Salon] 718's future.