By Alan Markoff
To say Eclipze Hair Design & Day Spa has been busy since re-opening for services is an understatement. The salon and spa re-opened on Monday, 22 June after being closed for three months during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“We did more than 200 services the first two days,” says owner Darla Dilbert. “It’s kind of like Christmas in the middle of the year.”
Eclipze started getting busy from early June, weeks before it re-opened. “As soon as the government said it was possible that we’d be able to re-open on the 22nd, the phones started ringing and they have not stopped,” Dilbert said, adding that appointment requests were also coming in through email, Facebook and Instagram. “We had to bring back two girls just to deal with all the requests.”
Clients who didn’t get their appointment requests in are finding they might have wait a few weeks to see their preferred stylist.
“We do have some openings with new team members, but the long-standing team members are booked well in advance.”
Although clients are getting a range of services, most are getting haircuts or colour, Dilbert says, noting with a laugh that many of the clients coming in have hair that’s “majorly out of shape.”
“We should have taken before and after photos, but we’ve just been too busy.”
During the lockdown
Dilbert says she kept herself and the rest of the staff busy during the period when Eclipze couldn’t provide services.
Eclipze owner Darla Dilbert
“I’ve been working almost every day,” she says. “I did six (online) certifications and all the staff had to do certifications on sanitisation and sterilisations.”
Not only is Eclipze meeting the COVID-19 safety standards set out by the Cayman Islands Government, they are meeting international standards as well.
“I had all the staff do the World Health Organisation certification,” she says. “Our industry is an extension of the medical field, so I wanted us to do everything we could to ensure the best infection control and hygiene practices for the safety of our clients and the staff.”
The staff also was engaged in delivering some of the various haircare and beauty products Eclipze sells when the government allowed for curbside pick-up and delivery of retail sales.
“We did well selling products for Mother’s Day, considering the circumstances, and once we were able to open for walk-in traffic, we were able to sell gift certificates for Father’s Day.”
Prior to re-opening, Eclipze sent emails to its clients detailing its new safety operating procedures, which include hand sanitising for clients upon entering the salon, the mandatory wearing of a face mask for all staff and clients and everyone – with the exception of the client and his/her service provider – maintaining six feet of distance from others.
Keeping the salon clean is paramount and Dilbert says the staff frequently disinfects the physical touchpoints and common areas. All non-essential items, including waiting room magazines, have been removed from the salon, and clients are requested to ask for staff assistance to buy any retail products.
To ensure staff members have enough time to sanitise the work areas throughout the day, the staff allocates 10 minutes in between clients to do so.
Clients who feel sick are asked to cancel their appointment and those who aren’t are asked to be on time. Before getting their service, clients are required to fill out and sign a health waiver.
Because of the extra costs involved in implementing all of the safety measures, clients are asked to pay a CI$3 COVID-19 surcharge for their service.
Dilbert says clients are understanding of the new procedures, which have been implemented for the safety of everyone.
“All of our clients are happy,” Dilbert says. “It’s tough for the staff to wear a mask all day, but we’re happy, too. It’s been a good start back.”
About the author
Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three years and has been writing professionally since 1997. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Alan graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a degree in English, and first moved to the Cayman Islands in 1982. He has 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians.