Through the Darkness I Started To See The Light

Through the Darkness I Started to See the Light

How have you managed the COVID-19 business lockdowns? Whether a client or another business owner, like myself, I know it hasn’t been easy.  Like you, as we navigate this unpredictable time together I’ve tried to stay positive, but it’s been a challenge … here is my honest and humble story.  It hasn’t been easy.

1st Lock Down

To say I was shocked is a bit of an understatement.  I was overcome with sadness, uncertainty and spent the first 5 weeks finding my way through so many tears, and being scared.  Thinking to myself after 20 years of building my business I could lose all of it.   I had to make huge sacrifices, my life was flipped upside down in less than 24 hours!   

I spent the entire 1st lock down trying to promote my business, I wanted people to know I was still here … I was trying to put on a positive face each and every day, while feeling so empty inside …

Then, we were given a reopening date … opening day was a fog, so much fear, people had changed, it was so stressful.  My business wasn’t the same, that first few days we had lots of tears (stylists and clients) in the hair studio and very few laughs … all I could keep thinking was, ‘this is not the InStyle way, this is not my home anymore’.  I was scared, trying desperately to get back what we had before all of this started. 

Then BAM!! 

2nd Lock Down

During this time I spent more time to focus on me.  I volunteered for a few community causes and launched a new business in personal training and fitness, “Yours All-InFitness”, a great take off from the InStyle name. My community walk initiative “MAKE A WISH Trailblaze for Wishes” even got featured in The Kincardine Independent with Tammy Schneider, and The Star.  This kept my focus on the positive things around me.   The support from our beautiful community has been amazing through it all.  As I was getting tired of all of the unknowns with my InStyle Hair Studio business I knew that the community was always going to stick with me and support me through this tough time.  It was the many phone calls, texts, emails and messages that kept me moving on …

The experience of reopening InStyle Hair Studio after Lockdown #1, had me rattled, with very little information and guidance (being a small business owner can be lonely, trying to interpret the rules and making decisions on your own).  

I knew when we got the go ahead to reopen (round 2) it was going to be chaos once again.  Ensuring all COVID protocols are in place for the salon and for all stylists.  Protecting ourselves, our families and our clients was priority #1.   It is a lot for a small business owner to deal with, let alone the worry about getting the income stream coming back again.  Starting with an empty calendar after being full for 20+ years is a scary place to start … and we were doing it for the second time this year!

My amazing team (we are like family) pulled together and we made everything work for 6 crazy weeks.  

Until BAM!!

Lock Down #3

This has been the hardest lock down emotionally and mentally.  I was burnt out … and so were many of my family, friends, stylists.   I believe most people (even the most stable, have felt emotional and mental unrest through this current ‘stay at home’ order. 

The thoughts of No Return continued to race through my mid … my business will never be the same.  The thoughts of the Pandemic won over me, the defeat, the hardship, the weeks of tears, weeks of ‘what to do?”  Where do I go from here? Hours of sitting in the hair studio in darkness.  Sitting there alone.  Feeling completely numb. 

Will COVID win?

Has it already won?

Did I lose this battle? …

Two weeks into the 3rd lockdown, my baby girl and I had a discussion … 

We have been through so much, so many ups and downs in business.  Way more ‘ups’ than downs!!


COVID will allow us to grow. “Grow!” Wise words from a baby girl to a big girl … I knew I had to put my big girl pants on and take control. 

Shawna Put Your Big Pants On and Take Control

Through the Darkness I Started to See the Light

Thanks to all of you, my family, friends, clients and community, for your encouragement, your  support and your love.

I am excited to share with all of you what’s next to come!! 

So much is happening!





(stay tuned for our opening day announcements)

We are Revitalized, Renovated and Ready for business as soon as we can Re-open our doors to to you!  We can’t wait for you to see what we’ve been up to.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Shawna, Cindy, Lynn, Sharon, Julie, Jessica, Karen, Gloria.

InStyle Hair Studio | Kincardine, ON | 519.396.1234

Serving you from the beautiful shores of Lake Huron.

Author:  Shawna Small

Author: Shawna Small

Owner, InStyle Hair Studio
Shawna has owned Instyle Hair Studio for 20+ Years. She is also an avid fitness and wellness instructor. Follow her on Instagram or Facebook @InstyleKincardine

PS - If you wish to donate to Shawna's fundraising goal to Hike, Walk or Run for MAKE A WISH "Trailblaze Trailblaze for Wishes" now through July 28 - you can read more and donate HERE.

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