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Showing posts from 2020

Swans Studios Is Open Again!

Open At LastDear Clients and Friends,You are on my mind as I navigate returning to my business after being closed for  six months.
It is a lot to process.
Every week for the past 24 weeks I have paid attention to what I can do in order to be prepared to reopen, to advocate for reopening, to apply for funding to keep Swans Studios solvent and to do my best to keep you informed.
Now I am open.
Please know I am doing what I can to accommodate you.  
Please be patient.  
This is a new normal and we will get through this together.
In order to have the best practices for health and safety here is what you may expect going forward.
Please text 510-545-2955 when you arrive and I will let you know when you can come inOur lobby is closed Please wear a maskPlease be prepared for a temperature check and to sanitize you hands upon arrivalPlease be prepared to review your signed waiverOnly bring with you the bare minimum or what you cannot leave in your carPlease be prepared for touch less payments, I take…

County Update

We Wait Dear Clients and Friends,We wait.  I miss you, I am doing all I can to return to my business and you.

The State has approved indoor hair services the County has not.As soon as I have the green light I will open my door and reopen my appointment book.  In the meantime if you have an up coming appointment I will contact you.Once we reopen it will be a new normal -You will arrive with hair freshly shampooed for a haircut serviceMasks on at all timesTemperature check upon arrivalHand sanitation upon arrivalBring only what you need with youNo blowdryingTouch less paymentsAll high touch services, implements and tools will be sanitized prior and following all servicesI have talked with some of you and I hear your concerns and about health and safety.  I am PPE ready.  A big part of the Cosmetology Exam is Sanitation.  And like you I am cautious about my own health and safety.  We will work together for our combined health, safety and beauty.
I look forward to seeing how your hair looks…

Reopening Update

Dear Clients and Friends,I worried so much about taking a month of this summer to celebrate turning sixty, little did I know that my business would be closed for over five months and that I would become an expert on all things financial from grants to loans and gifts and more.
I did not go away for a month but I did go away for five glorious days for my birthday.I soaked in the sun, the ocean breeze and set aside my worry for a brief while.
Now I am home and back to advocating for getting salons open in California.
On Tuesday August 11, I joined a rally at the State Capitol.Salon professionals came from far and wide to rally together.Click here to see the press coverage.
There are rallies almost daily now, all over the state.
On Monday August 17, salonswillopen for one day in protest and I will join the movement.
Following August 17, I do not know what will happen but I do know that I am fed up and ready to return to work. Of course, with all the necessary sanitation and PPE protocols in pl…

Reopening News

Dear Clients and Friends,
You may have heard Governor Gavin Newson is allowing salons to operate outside. (If not, you can read the news story here). 
I have grappled with how to respond to this.
It is a step in the right direction.  Yet it is complicated to implement to ensure the best results of health, security and safety for all.
Myself and many others in my industry are not in favor of this idea.
Why are we not in favor?We are licensed professionals and must pass the sanitation portion of our State Board in order to be licensed.We have invested in the appropriate Covid-19 PPE in order to open safely.Working outside is unpredictable at best, given locations, security, weather and more.This guideline only allows haircuts, no shampooing, no hair color or blow drying.
Following the news I was at my wits end, angry and fed up.
I am ready to open, you need a haircut.  I needed a minute and now I am back to doing what I can to advocate for the Professional Salon Industry.  I will be attending …

Hair Raising Times

Dear Clients and Friends,
I have not been busy with hair or coaching.
I have been busy advocating for the beauty industry in Alameda County by:Calling the Covid Recovery LineEmailing the Covid Recovery DepartmentProtesting outside the Alameda County Public Health Department Offices Calling KQED (listen here to the show- I call in at the 44:10 mark)Reaching out to industry friendsKeeping in touch with clientsRemembering to breathe






I thank you profusely for your generous support.
I know many of you have called and emailed as well.If you would like to advocate once more on our behalf here is the information:
Covid Recovery Email - covidrecovery@acgov.orgCovid Recovery Phone Number - 510-268-2101 #2
Let the Alameda Public Health Department know that you trust - The salon industries ability to open in a safe and sanitary mannerAsk that they give Alameda County Salons the same opening plan as neighboring countiesThat you need a haircut!
There are days and times that I can hardly believe that it is…

Update: Special Appeal to My Clients and Friends

Dear Clients and Friends,Once again we appeal to you for help!Update:  Myself and Diane Zelaya, my colleague at Swans Studios spoke with a contact at the Alameda County Public Health Department, ACPHD  to request consideration for our own criteria for Salons and Barber Shops; or to be considered as part of phase three or four of the Alameda County re-opening plan.We have the California Cosmetology Association working with us on getting the word out to the Association Industry Members.How can you help?Contact the ACPHD via phone and or email and request that they allow Cosmetologists and Barbers to return to work. Here are some bullet points to share with the ACPHD.The Beauty Industry asks for our own criteria or to be considered the same as businesses in phases three and four, a phase that includes personal services. The Beauty Industry is currently in Phase Five, (In door Dining, Pro Sports without fans and pools.)  This category does not reflect our profession.The Beauty Industry sh…

Call To Action

Dear Clients and Friends,
Please help.
In Alameda County my industry has been extremely hard hit by Covid-19.
On Monday June 29 I spoke with both the Alameda County Public Health Department, ACPHD and the Professional Beauty Association, PBA.Both of these organizations confirmed the complex challenges that hairstylists, barbers, manicurists and estheticians are facing as we approach four months of being closed.
Technicians want and need to work, clients want and need services.It is no surprise that the underground, back yard, secret salon services exist and are increasing in numbers.
Most salon owners and technicians, including myself, refuse to participate in the aforementioned scenario, however, we do understand the necessity for some of making money during a time like this.
Sadly many technicians do not have resources or documentation to qualify for resources.Also many salons operated on an extremely small profit margin at best.
How can you help?
Please contact the ACPHD via phone or ema…

Reopening Update

Dear Clients and Friends,
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time in our lives.
I, like you, am anxious to return to my routines.I am also incredibly cognizant of the recent events in the country and cannot in good conscience ignore how devastating the murder of George Floyd has been to the black community.I am safe and my home and salon are safe.
LaTasha and Diane are safe.We are grateful to have each other. We continue to love and support each other during Covid-19’s impact on our businesses and the countries unrest.
Governor Gavin Newsom delivered the news that hair salons can open in some counties in California however, Alameda County is not included in this current phase of reopening. There is one more phase before we will be allowed to reopen. You can read more about the various phases for Alameda County here.  
If you have a June appointment I will contact you to postpone it and make future arrangements.
Swans Studios is ready to re-open, we hav…

Covid Coaching Haircut And More

Hairqueen News I went into shock on March 17 when my vibrant business, like so many, was closed until further notice due to Covid-19.

I have been self-employed for most of my career and a business owner since 1995.

I suspect you would believe me if I said I've been through a thing or two as a business owner and even on the darkest days, my entrepreneurial spirit has guided me along the way.

After the initial shock was over I settled into a new routine and found ways to be productive.

My days have and still do include:
Taking time everyday to work on my business instead of in my businessUpdating my websiteUpdating my booking systemContacting each one of my wonderful clients to postpone their appointments more than once due to the closureCreated an online storeApplying for disaster relief, PPP and DUI Coached a mum how to bleach and tone her son's hairCreated personal hair color kits for hair color clientsPosts on social media with the help of my trusty virtual assistant Erin …

Grey is Gray

Hairqueen Musings These are not normal times, many are baking bread and gardening.
I have written a few poems that came to me in the beginning of SIP, when we were all grappling with the SIP order and I could barely sleep.  
If I didn't already have grey hair I think the shock of shutting down overnight might have given me more than a strand or two.

Here's a poem with little bit of truth from what I know about grey hair from both sides of the chair.

The life we are living is different today than we could have ever imagined. Yet it is the life we have lived that gives us the wisdom and strength to carry on.
I am overwhelmed by the generosity of my clients as we have connected over these past weeks to postponed appointments.  
I have appreciated connecting with my fellow salon industry friends and discussing how we are doing during SIP.  We wonder how we it will be as we return to our businesses with new practices in place for everyone's health and safety and of course bea…

Isla's Curls

Hairqueen NewsEarly on following the stay-in-place order this little poem came to me about my sweet little granddaughter.

When people ask me what I will be doing once the order is lifted, I answer: I will be spending my time holding my shears and Isla, but not at the same time, unless I am giving her her first haircut!


Isla’s Curls by Glamma 
Oh how I miss that mess of curls That flip and flop And twirl around My darling little Isla’s crown

Silky, soft, fine and free Framing her dear little face Wildly going this way and that And always more crazy after a nap

Her hair bands and brushes help quite a bit And one of these days when her parents say yes I will pull out my shears And tidy it up With my best Glamma skills Beyond a hair brush


Happy Mother's Day to all the mums, moms, mama's and ma's out there.

Distance hugs and kisses to all.

Love, Suzanne

My contact information: email: suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com  or call me at 510-545-2955.
To book appointments online go to: https://www.vagaro.co…

Masked Hairstylist

If you have a hairstylist in your #shelterinplace life, lucky you can get a haircut!

And the lucky hairstylist can do a trial run for what it will be like to return to the salon.
I did this with my handsome husband, Michael. What will it be like to get a haircut again? How will we protect you?  How do we protect ourselves and keep everthing sanitized and safe and creative?  We will need masks, gloves, sanitizer, barbicide, patience and flexibility. I wore a mask and so did MichaelI asked him to sanitize his hands upon arrivalI wore gloves for the consultation, haircut and checkoutAs I did the consultation, he was still maskedFor the shampoo, I had him remove his mask, I wore mineI did the haircut, still no mask on himI applied styling products with the gloves on - that was not greatAnd of course for the payment* I will need to have a way to sanitize the screen on my iPad unless the clients have Apple Pay, Venmo or Zelle *I let hubby pay me with a kiss It was a trial run - it was okay -…

Staying in Touch

Hairqueen Help: How can I help you as we navigate our stay in place order?
I hope that you feel comfortable making the best decision you need to make for yourself re the care of your hair.  Self care is critical and that is even more true today.
I am available for a phone call or by zoom to help you with ideas on how to look good and feel good.  You can contact me directly: Email me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com or call me at 510-545-2955.
In the meantime keeping up regular shampooing and conditioning, especially conditioning as your ends are more damaged and drier and in need of a trim.  




Speaking of trims and haircuts, if you are tempted to trim your own fringe or ends remember a little snip is probably going to take more off than you think.  Trim cautiously, ok?
For haircolor clients:

use zigzag partings to help disguise the re-growthuse eye shadow that is close to your colour- you can brush it on the parting to help soften the line of demarcation
If you have to be on Zoom for business…