How are Singapore’s nail salons coping with coronavirus? The 8Twenty8 Nails team dishes

How are Singapore’s nail salons coping with coronavirus? The 8Twenty8 Nails team dishes

In the know

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @opi

There is definitely a sense of fear for my team when they work on our clients during this outbreak period. They have, however, been feeling a little more assured thanks to the safety measures I put in place. First things first, my manicurists will always call up customers a day before their appointment to verify their travel history and health. Upon arrival, they are asked to wash and sanitise their hands before temperature checks are conducted.

That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the safety protocol we've implemented. We had two cases where customers began coughing and feeling unwell halfway during service –– I've trained my team to stop what they're doing and grab a mask for the customer immediately. Customers are also asked not to bring friends or loved ones during their appointments so as to prevent contact with folks whom we don't have contact details for. They'd be — politely — asked to leave the premises should customers still persist in inviting them along.

I'm not going to lie, it's been hard. Sales dropped about 30-40% in February. Not just because we're losing business, but also because we had to turn away people, too, who had travel history to Europe or China... This is necessary, of course, because my priority is my team's safety and to give them peace of mind while they work. We're doing a little better in March, but there's always the fear that we'll be asked to close sooner or later.

My team has voiced their concerns about the loss of income and maybe even losing their jobs should the situation persists. They're all mothers with mouths to feed and families to support. As for me, the fear of ceasing operations has to do with rent as well. Our landlord hasn't provided any strong support, and we could be in this for the long-haul, seeing the way things are going.

For those looking to help, I'd encourage being socially responsible and staying at home when possible. Go to a doctor if you're feeling well, and adhere to government advisories. I do a lot of reading every night to ensure 8Twenty8 Nails is doing everything in line with the latest initiatives. Other than that, please also do your part by assisting small businesses such as ours.

We have small packages you can purchase at 8Twenty8 Nails which are available for an extended period of time. This, essentially, means you're paying first for a service which you can receive at a later time. Small gestures like these will greatly ease the cashflow problems we've been experiencing.

I also recommend you keep nails short and clean during this period. Long, extended talons traps dirt, bacteria, and all sorts of germs, which is not what you need during these troubled times. All in all, let's work together to ensure everyone comes out of this unscathed.

8Twenty8 Nails
Address: Level 2 #02-01, 50 Tras Street (Tanjong Pagar), 078989
Contact: 6225 1828

This story was told by Victoria, founder of 8Twenty8 Nails, to Buro. Singapore.