MADISON, Wis. — Business is starting to pick up for some Wisconsin beauty service providers like hairstylists, estheticians, and cosmetologists. 

Bri Storey started Gemini Lash & Brow Studio in Madison at the beginning of March, 2020; just before the word “pandemic” would come out of our mouths every day. 

“I originally was working for somebody else, and kind of went out on my own. And as scary as that is by itself, doing it during a pandemic was even scarier,” she said. 

She hoped that her clients would follow her, and they did. One client named Whitney was getting her lashes filled before a weekend trip. 

“The second we were out of quarantine, I was like give me some lashes!” Whitney laughed. 

According to a report from McKinsey & Company, beauty products and services were expected to suffer a 20 to 30 percent spending drop in 2020. That’s a nerve-racking situation for cosmetologists and beauty service providers, considering a big portion work for themselves, and most only make money if they have appointments. 

Things are starting to pick up quickly for Storey. “I would say probably within the last few weeks I’ve noticed an increase in either people coming back, or new clients coming in.” 

Stimulus checks could be making a difference, as more people have extra cash to spend on luxury beauty treatments. But the biggest impact may be coming from our overall outlook starting to improve. 

“A lot of it might have to do with the vaccine being more readily available, and people feeling more comfortable with going out and getting these services done,” she said. “I think people are  starting to realize that sooner rather than later, we’re going to be back to how things used to be.”

Storey has spent the entire first year in business surviving a pandemic. She’s made it this far. Now, she has a lot to look forward to in year two. 

“Having everyone just be healthy and feeling safe enough to go out and get services done.”