Attention All Hands-On Professionals: Make Your Voice Heard

Nearly everyone in the beauty industry is a hands-on professional: We literally touch people for a living. Naturally, salons, barbershops, day spas, lash studios and nail salons were directly impacted by the coronavirus and many had to shutter for several months—and some have been forced to close all together. And while many states are currently loosening restrictions and allowing beauty businesses to reopen, many pros are concerned about going back to work, while others have not received promised relief and are worried that they may not have a workplace to go back to. We partnered with Ursula Goff and Caitlin Ford to promote Hands On Professional, a website resource and survey to help get concrete data on what beauty pros are needing and how we as an industry can be collectively heard and our needs addressed.

"I am one of the many who is currently out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic. I am one of the many voices seeking to be heard and not silenced. These hands that used to be a safe haven for my clients now have the potential to put my clients’ lives at risk, put me at risk, and put my family at risk," says Ford. "We who are in hands-on industries need to join hands and take action, and get our leaders to recognize our needs." Goff echoes that sentiment, stating: "We want some hard data to pass on to those we’ve supported over the years, so we can demonstrate how badly we now need their support. We want to be able to show just how much our industries are struggling right now, so that we can push for change."

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I am a Hands-On Professional. I have partnered with @uggoff and @beautylaunchpad to help create change. I am one of the many who is currently out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic. I am one of the many voices seeking to be heard and not silenced. These hands that used to be a safe haven for my clients now have the potential to put my clients’ lives at risk, put me at risk, and put my family at risk. Direct touch industries such as hairstylists, tattoo artists, massage therapists, and nail artists pose a greater risk than many other industries because social distancing is impossible. We are as close to our clients as medical professionals in many regards, and with PPE already in limited supply I worry about my ability to keep myself and my clients safe. The mounting financial pressure and the threat of the country opening too soon is forcing me to consider the possibility of putting myself and those I love at risk. We who are in hands-on industries need to join hands and take action, and get our leaders to recognize our needs. If you work in a hands-on profession please join me in taking the handsonprofessional.com survey, and follow us @handsonprofessional so we can get the facts of our current situation to those who can help make change happen. Let’s join hands to create change. Tag someone else you know in the industry to also take the survey.

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In her latest instagram post on May 6, 2020, Goff revealed some early sobering statistics: "We’ve gotten over 2,500 responses so far and counting: 42% of you approved to get unemployment still have not received any, and only 19% of you who applied for CARES have received it. About a quarter of you have a partner who has also lost all their work revenue, while another quarter of you are going it alone with no partner, and almost half of you surveyed have dependents. 37% of you who would normally receive child support no longer do."

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

If I look tired, it’s because I am. The regular joe, hands-on service workers have been pushed almost completely out of the conversation regarding our own welfare and safety. Continuing to analyze the stats we’ve been gathering has been very sobering; we’ve gotten over 2500 responses so far and counting. 42% of you approved to get unemployment still have not received any, and only 19% of you who applied for CARES have received it. About a quarter of you have a partner who has also lost all their work revenue, while another quarter of you are going it alone with no partner, and almost half of you surveyed have dependents. 37% of you who would normally receive child support no longer do. The additional comments being left are stark reminders of the reality for so many: “I am going to lose my small business and my home. No one cares.” “Been having to go to food banks to feed my kids.” “Applied for everything, received nothing.” “I’m scared to go to work. I’m scared to stay home and not work.” The fact that so many of us are being put in this position is an absolute tragedy. Our safety is being disregarded in favor of the almighty dollar. People are being forced to choose between their health and their rent in one of the richest empires to ever exist in the history of the world. If you are as frustrated by that as I am, please check out the link in my bio. There’s a survey, options for contacting your representatives, a forum for commiserating and organizing, and a blog we are working on as a resource center. We are totally amateurs at this, so it’s slow going, but we want to provide a place for you to feel heard and to gain direction if you’re not sure how to advocate for yourself right now. You can also go to the IG we made for it, @handsonprofessional, for a little more discussion. If we work together collectively, we increase our chances of being heard, so come yell with us! #handsinforhandson #handsonprofessional

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We continue to need to get hard data to be able to collectively affect change. Please consider making your voice heard in this completely anonymous survey at handsonprofessional.com. You deserve to be heard. Once data is finalized we will share the results. 

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