Beauty therapist feels lucky to reopen on April 12 after a year of restrictions
- Credit: Josh Reeve
A home-based beauty therapist feels lucky to be able to reopen after a stressful period of not being able to trade for most of the year.
Angela Reeve, 34, who has two-year-old girl and five-year-old boy, set up Beauty by Angela at her Sprowston home in November 2019.
She only had five months to work in her new specially-built treatment room on the side of her Couzens-Hardy Road home before being forced to close in March last year for the first lockdown.
She temporarily reopened in August, was forced to close again in November and reopened for a short time in December before the third and latest lockdown this year.
Her treatment room reopens on April 12, as the government eases coronavirus restrictions for non-essential shops and businesses including gyms, pubs, salons and beauty therapists.
Mrs Reeve said: "I feel like I'm starting my job again for the third time I always thought I could reopen but my main fear was people not feeling comfortable coming back. I take safety really seriously and have done everything I can to make people feel as comfortable as possible.
"I feel very lucky. Everyone wants to come back. I love my job and the social side of it. I miss that normality in life.
"When I couldn't work I hated sitting around thinking I should be doing something."
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She added she had some concerns over the longer term financial effects of the lockdowns on people's incomes and whether many would want to spend that on beauty treatments.
"It is a treat but it does make you feel better," the beauty therapist said.
The mother-of-two did not qualify for government support last year because she was recently self-employed and lost all of her potential earnings when she could not open.
She admitted it had been stressful but was thankful that her husband, Josh, could still work and she did not have to pay staff or rent.
Mrs Reeve, who took on the majority of the home schooling responsibilities during the past year, also received a £2,000 grant from Broadland District Council.
"If I had not have received that grant this year things could have been tricky," she said.
The 34-year-old did have to throw away some stock from last year, which expired within six months of opening, and she has spent hundreds of pounds on PPE including masks, gloves, masks a face shield and adaptations to her treatment couch.
She will wear gloves, a mask and visor during treatments and clients have to wear a mask, which is only removed when necessary for treatments.
People also cannot attend if they feel unwell and the room is ventilated and cleaned for 20 minutes between each client.