April Villareal dreamt of owning her own hair salon for over a decade, aspiring to inspire and empower her clients. The dream finally came true with the opening of her salon, Cleansed Hair Studio, in Neptune Beach. But when the coronavirus halted its grand opening, Villareal used the time to market her salon, prepare for clients and better herself for take two of the Cleansed debut.
“My main goal was to make sure that my salon was ready for our return,” Villareal said, who, prior to opening her studio, worked at a different hair salon in Jacksonville Beach. She gained not only her reputation as a stylist and clientele, but also support from her former coworkers who helped promote her new studio online during the shutdown.
“I spent a lot of time working on digital marketing and have wonderful friends that were willing and able to help me start up my brand online,” Villareal said. “I’m very blessed they supported my transition in every way and are very much a part of my success to this day.”
Villareal also started an Instagram and Facebook account for Cleansed, along with a client contact list, spending six hours straight to assure she could accommodate the 50 guests who were already booked, and making sure each was ready for their appointment upon opening.
She emphasized that her current studio guidelines follow the CDC’s (implementing most regulations even before the pandemic), and also created a Hold Harmless Agreement and a Health Intake Form for clients to fill out before their appointments. Cleansed is also up-to-date with all mandated certifications, ensuring Villareal’s safety, as well as her guests.
And just to be sure, Villareal currently requires clients to arrive on time, on their own, remain in their vehicle until she personally greets them in and to wear a mask once inside.
“I’ve been practicing proper hygiene since the beginning of my career, so the transition has been quite easy,” she said. “The challenges come with the face mask, but I believe it takes a tribe of people to create magic, and my “April Tribe” is incredibly committed and excited to return to the salon setting.”
But before her return, Villareal also gave time to herself, practicing self-care to be “aligned internally” and be the best version of herself for her clients.
“Bottom line, when you look good, you feel good,” she said. “During quarantine, a lot of people took the time to do a lot of self-reflection and healing, so the most exciting thing about returning is to hear about those experiences. I strongly believe that beauty comes from the inside out, so I’m excited to mirror that behind the chair.”
Villareal is already booked for the next four weeks, so to say she’s excited is an understatement.
“As a 31-year-old young woman, and now business owner, I take my platform seriously. Cleansed is a safe environment and community to be a part of. The process demanded a lot of energy from me, but it was so rewarding at the end.”
Cleased Hair Studio offers custom cuts, color and more, offering Moroccn oil treatments and balayage expertise. To schedule an appointment or more information, call Cleased Hair Studio at (904) 515-8342 or follow the official Instagram and Facebook account: @CleansedHairStudio.