For 38 years, John Mangiameli, owner of Creative Hair Design, never had to lay off a single employee. However, as Mangiameli found out when the pandemic forced the business to close in March—which also meant laying off 90 employees—things can change in an instant.
Yet, even during these dire circumstances, Mangiameli was committed to taking care of his team. All employees received state unemployment insurance benefits and Mangiameli quickly applied for a Small Business Administration loan.
By the end of April, all employees were back on payroll and also given extra relief in the form of bonuses.
“I did not want our employees to stress about making their payments or being able to purchase groceries,” Mangiameli said. “I have found that if you take care of employees, the employees will take care of clients and continue to stick around. I have employees who have been part of our team for over 30 years. It’s so refreshing to have their support. We could not do this without them, so it’s extremely important to do right by them.”
The salon and spa remained shut down for a total of 80 days, reopening at the end of May under mandated restrictions.
To make up for the 9,000 cancelled appointments, the business implemented 16-hour days broken into three shifts, seven days
Currently, all service providers and customers must wear masks and anyone entering the salon must have their temperature taken prior to entering. Mangiameli said stations, which are seven feet apart, are also thoroughly disinfected between appointments.
“We’ve been doing everything we can to keep our staff and clients safe,” Mangiameli said. “Fortunately, we have been able to offer all of our regular services, aside from showers and the steam sauna.”
These regular services include hair, nails, aesthetic, massage, and special-occasion options.
Stronger than ever
Mangiameli said customers have been very complimentary and appreciate the effort to maintain a clean and healthy environment.
“Customers are coming back stronger than ever and we are actually seeing an increase in new clientele,” Mangiameli said. “So many people are stressed right now and need some down time, but don’t want to go far to receive it. Creative Hair Design is a safe destination where people are able to relax, get their mind off things and enjoy a spa service without the hassle and risk of traveling.”
It is Mangiameli’s goal to give clients something to look forward to in this difficult climate.
“Everyone deserves to unwind, especially when they’re faced with uncertainty and stress every day,” Mangiameli said. “We’ve been fortunate to be able to serve our community since 1982. We will get through these tough times and continue to serve our clients for years to come.”
"Customers are coming back stronger than ever and we are actually seeing an increase in new clientele."
~ John Mangiameli, Owner, Creative Hair Design