Vancouver hairstylist and clients ‘happy’ Clark County now in Phase 2 of reopening – ClarkCountyToday.com

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Betty Rae Wiant has been a licensed cosmetologist for 38 years, perhaps none have been as difficult as the past three months

VANCOUVER – It didn’t take long for Betty Rae Wiant to learn that Clark County had been approved to move into Phase 2 of the state’s Stay Safe reopening plan.

Vancouver hairstylist Betty Rae Wiant (right) is one of several independent professionals in the area who were able to return to work after Clark County was cleared to enter Phase 2 of the Stay Safe reopening plan of Washington. Photo by Mike Schultz

“I was taking a shower when my phone started exploding on Friday morning,” said Wiant, a Vancouver barber who had been off work for nearly three months due to stay-at-home orders associated with the pandemic. coronavirus. “The minute Phase 2 was announced and Clark County was now open, customers started texting and calling… I thought the world was coming to an end, seriously.

“Instead, the phone was ringing with happy customers who wanted to make an appointment and congratulate me, who wanted to know if I was going to work in 10 minutes,” Wiant said.

Wiant has been a licensed cosmetologist for 38 years, the last six of them at Seasons Spa and Salon in Vancouver. She saw her first client in phase 2 on Sunday.

“My first official customer walked into the salon today with a mask and a three-inch shoot,” Wiant said. “She proudly told me, ‘I never even touched my bangs. Everything went extremely well. She and I were really very happy. Life is Beautiful.”

Life was not always good during the closure. Like most independent residents of Clark County, she experienced a myriad of emotions and unknowns about when she might return to work.

“The shutdown has been heartbreaking,” Wiant said. “As a stylist, I felt that closure was necessary at the beginning to protect my clients as well as myself. However, being self-employed and being considered non-essential after 40 years in business was very hurtful. What was this going to mean for me, my clients and my business and what was I going to do for my income? I had no idea.”

Vancouver hairstylist Betty Rae Wiant works with client Lisa Jansen on Sunday at Seasons Span and Salon in Vancouver.  Photo by Mike Schultz
Vancouver hairstylist Betty Rae Wiant works with client Lisa Jansen on Sunday at Seasons Span and Salon in Vancouver. Photo by Mike Schultz

Wiant said she received no unemployment benefits or financial assistance until a week before she was allowed to reopen her business.

“I was not allowed to request COVID-19 assistance until mid-April,” Wiant said. “Unemployment was a nightmare, 5,000 phone calls and unemployment, hours on the phone were depressing and overwhelming. In the end, I had zero income for three months. I finally got funded a week ago. Honestly, it was a nightmare, but things are better now. ”

Things are better now, but they are obviously not the same.

“I was thrilled, but I was scared,” Wiant said of the news that she was now able to return to work. “I’m very lucky, having my own studio is wonderful. It is going to be very easy to comply with the requirements of the state. Sanitation and safety are essential and have always been a top priority in my profession. I had just received 100 percent (compliance) from the State Council three weeks earlier. The extra precautions for my clients are easy to follow. ”

Hairstylist Betty Rae Wiant says she has had no problem meeting the state's COVID-19 phase 2 personal services requirements since she was able to reopen her business.  Photo by Mike Schultz
Hairstylist Betty Rae Wiant says she has had no problem meeting the state’s COVID-19 phase 2 personal services requirements since she was able to reopen her business. Photo by Mike Schultz

A full list of the state’s Phase 2 personal services COVID-19 requirements can be found here:

https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19Phase2PersonalServicesGuidance.pdf

“Customers are asked to stay in their cars until I text them to meet me at the door,” Wiant said. “They have to wear a mask or receive one when I meet them in person at the door. They will have their temperature taken and will have to sign a waiver. Then they will be brought back to my studio, which has been disinfected between each client. I even installed an air purifier which eliminates many types of bacteria and purifies the air. Alcohol, sanitizer, hand sanitizer and extra capes are readily available. ”

To contact Betty Rae Wiant, visit the Seasons Spa and Salon at 603 SE 116th Ave., Vancouver, or call (360) 513-6321.


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