new year, same boat?

The year 2020 may be behind us, but our circumstances as beauty professionals have not changed, nor will they improve immediately. We consider the year ahead in terms of financial and personal health, salon operations, and professional growth.

Show Notes


Outgrowth Insiders Membership

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (SBA)

Coronavirus Small Business Resources Guide (US Chamber of Commerce)


Please subscribe, rate, and review Outgrowth on your favorite podcast platform to help us reach more listeners like you!


Find us on Social Media:
Instagram & Facebook & Twitter

We want to hear from you!
Email us at


A note from the hosts: While we make every effort to provide current and factual information in this podcast, we are not lawyers or accountants. Information contained in this podcast should not be viewed as a substitute for legal or tax advice. We always recommend you seek professional legal and financial advice where required.

Outgrowth provides links to information and other resources, including brands, products, and services, for your convenience. Some qualify as affiliate links when they result in compensation to Outgrowth.


Edited for length and clarity.


JAIME: Welcome to Outgrowth: A Slice of Pro Beauty with your hosts Jaime Schrabeck.

ASHLEY: And Ashley Gregory Hackett. The impact of holiday gatherings has yet to be measured, but health officials assure us the coronavirus pandemic will get worse before it gets better.

JAIME: Meanwhile, the outlook for our industry remains murky despite our cautious optimism. Planning for this new year will require more flexibility and adaptability than ever. Let’s grow together.

ASHLEY: Well, Jaime, happy new year.

JAIME: And a happy new year to you, Ashley.

ASHLEY: We made it, even though we are technically recording this on the last day of 2020, I have a feeling that 2021 will in fact happen.

JAIME: If we could only just last a few more hours, we’ll make it.

ASHLEY: So last week we talked about ending 2020 on a high note and all of the positive things that transpired last year despite everything. And I think looking forward into next year, we can keep the intention of positivity, but unfortunately, I think it may just be more of the same. What do you think?

JAIME: This is a sobering reality check for the different areas of our professional and personal lives that are being impacted right now.


ASHLEY: Definitely. So I think in this episode, let’s talk about what we could potentially see happening in the next year and how we as beauty professionals can be prepared for it.

JAIME: One of our most immediate needs is overcoming the financial hardship we have dealt with and we need immediate assistance, hoping that that new COVID relief check will be in the mail soon, but that’s only $600 as of yet.

ASHLEY: Yes, definitely nowhere near enough to keep many small businesses afloat. So by the time that you hear this, something may have been passed. It may be $600. It may be $2,000. However, with some of the events from today, the 31st, it doesn’t look like two thousand’s going to happen. But with this relief bill comes the promise of at least an additional lifeline, whether it’s the continuation of unemployment, the relief check, as you mentioned, and hopefully this relief bill will include some of those FICA tax tip credits that we’ve talked about with the PBA.

JAIME: Whatever’s included in this current bill will be a short term, I don’t even want to call it a solution. It’s some minimal help, but we’re likely not to see anything major happen until after the inauguration.

ASHLEY: Well, at least there’s new funding for PPP loans, and additional grants, and things like that. Hopefully, we can link some of those in the show notes for this week’s episode, but I think the proactive beauty professional will start looking for new revenue streams for either the short or the long term, but setting up that infrastructure now, whether it’s creating a web page, opening your Etsy store, whatever those things are, it may need to happen now so that you don’t have to scramble when you really need it.

JAIME: And speaking of scrambling, if you had not been keeping your financial records over the last year, you really need to get updated because in order to apply for some of these things, you have to have those records in place so that you can demonstrate just how severely your business was impacted.

ASHLEY: That’s a good point. Sprinkled in with all of this other drama, we have tax prep. And for those of us who are self-employed, we have quarterly taxes coming due. We have all of the paperwork that is involved with tax prep, especially if you are issuing 1099s back to the salon owner for your booth rent and things like that. And that’s all going to come to a head at the end of the month. Hopefully, those of you who are listening now will take the gentle reminder to start looking at that information now if you haven’t yet already.

JAIME: With regard to finding new revenue streams, I want to make sure that everyone understands what their scope of practice is, what their priorities should be, and not to overly invest monies that you may need for more immediate necessities, like your housing or food.

ASHLEY: I was thinking about that this morning, as far as cutting out absolutely all discretionary spending, not necessarily needing to opt for or upgrade anything specific. I think, especially for those of us in the nail world, I’m seeing people talking about all the new gels they’ve purchased and all of the accessories, and I’m thinking why. We have a tendency to overindulge our retail therapy side. And at this point, I’m not sure who that’s for. You know, who does that serve? Does that serve your clients or does that just serve your need for newness to distract you?

JAIME: Yeah, glitter will not solve these problems.

ASHLEY: Unfortunately, no, and it solves a lot of problems, um, but it causes a lot more too. It’s just so sparkly.


JAIME: Let’s talk about personal health because that is equally, if not more, important than your financial health.


ASHLEY: Absolutely. While vaccinations have started, it’s going to be a while before anybody in the beauty industry will see the benefits of that. I just read a news report today that 500 doses of the vaccine were intentionally spoiled in Wisconsin, which is my home state, which makes me very angry. But as we start to see those vaccinations trickle down through all of the different industries, and healthcare workers, and things, unless you’re moonlighting as a nurse or a doctor, I don’t see us getting those any time soon.

JAIME: I would agree. And what disturbed me more recently was an article about healthcare workers taking a pass on getting a vaccination, even though they were eligible.

ASHLEY: Yes. I read that as well. I think we’re talking about the same article. It was 60% of assisted living facility workers in Ohio decided to opt out of taking the vaccine. So while the vaccine is a medical miracle, the fact that we have it approved and available already, basically, we’re going to be wearing masks and using PPE for the foreseeable future. And I think everyone is feeling renewed and excited about the fact that 2020 is over and we can finally bury it at the bottom of a lake, but it doesn’t mean that our circumstances have necessarily changed drastically. And so I don’t want anybody to be blindsided by the fact that this isn’t going away and whatever plans you can make now to sustain yourself. I mean we’ve been saying this since March. I feel like we’re kind of beating the same drum over and over, but if it helps anybody come to terms with this reality, I think it’s helpful to just keep talking about it.

JAIME: You may be risking your personal relationships by adhering to the guidelines and taking the precautions. And that’s really unfortunate that we’re in that position where we can’t feel like protecting ourselves and protecting the larger community is the best thing to do and something that others can appreciate and understand.

ASHLEY: And just personally being in the Midwest right now where it’s very cold, the snow has started. I haven’t left my house for anything that isn’t necessary since March and as it gets colder, and the days get shorter, I know it can definitely take a toll on one’s mental health to be shut up inside. And I don’t know if we can call it like the Miss Havisham complex or something, but it’s a little bit bleak and so I’m trying to find new, and different, and better things to keep me occupied and lucid as I stare down the barrel of several more months of being kind of shut up in doors.

JAIME: You should take some comfort in the fact that we’ve survived thus far, and the vaccinations do offer us this hope, and the more individuals that take it upon themselves to get it and follow up with the second dose, the better off we’ll all be.

ASHLEY: I agree. There’s curve balls being thrown at us. It seems like every day there’s new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus. It’s assumed that it’s essentially in almost every state already, just given how every hour it seems like they’re saying, oh, it’s in Colorado. Oh, it’s in Southern California. So I think we need to be ready for that and understand that as this variant spreads and is much more contagious, that’s going to lead to more cases. More cases is going to lead to less available beds in ICUs and less available beds in ICUs mean greater restrictions by city, or county, or what have you. So if we pull this out to its eventual conclusion, I think we’re just going to have a repeat of summer and early fall again. So what can we do? What can we, you know, what, what projects can we work on? What revenue streams can we look at? How can we, if we’re open now? I don’t know. I’m just trying to think of what we can all tangibly grab onto and start working on whether it’s a distraction or it’s really about moving the needle. I think it just depends on your state and what degree of lockdown you’re currently in.


JAIME: Improving your personal health would have been something you would have included in a resolution anyway, most likely. That’s a fairly typical type of resolution. So that’s a project and it takes effort. So if we were able to get better sleep, eat better, exercise more, all the things that we should be doing to be in better health we reduce the risk of being more vulnerable and needing to be in the hospital for some other reason other than COVID.

ASHLEY: Right. Well, and I know that you’ve seen as well as I, the posts all over social about where are the clients? We’re open. We’re at 50% capacity and we’re just not seeing the clients coming back. I’m not sure why that’s a question to be brutally honest, but this may be a harbinger of what’s to come. I feel like we all sort of thought 2021, the clock strikes midnight, and we just shake off the dust of all of this. I don’t foresee there being a real resolution or difference in the way we operate day to day until at least the summer. 

JAIME: I don’t either. The salon operations that we had and the precautions we were taking when we were able to be open likely will not change once we get permission to reopen. We just don’t know when that will be. In my county, the current stay at home order is in place with a date of January 11th as a tentative end date, but I expect that to be extended.

ASHLEY: Yeah, as do I. You’re under more strict restrictions right now than I am here in Chicago. But as numbers seem to go down, as we get forced indoors due to weather, we’re just going to see, unfortunately, people getting stir crazy and trying to shake the cabin fever by going different places. And we’re going to see a spike from people traveling for the Christmas holidays or getting together for New Year’s Eve. I can’t really think of anything less essential to do than those things, but we’ll see.


JAIME: We can’t blame clients for prioritizing their own health.

ASHLEY: Right. And we’ll see, I think as well, more support for at home, DIY services as we did before, but maybe not as just a stop gap until the next time they can come and see you. This may be a more semi-permanent situation.

JAIME: Again, something to prepare for. If we can be in a position to provide education, retail products, tools, whatever it is that we need to make sure that whatever our clients are doing at home that relates to their beauty services is something that we would approve of.

ASHLEY: Absolutely. And within our scope of practice, covered by a liability insurance, making sure all of those I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.

JAIME: Let’s talk about one of the aspects that we’ve really missed out on on 2020, which is our own professional growth.

ASHLEY: Definitely. I sure miss seeing everyone at shows, and getting to travel around the country, and speak to beauty professionals all over, and learning more about what their needs are, and how we as independent educators can meet those needs. But it’s been, for as much as I like doing that, it’s been kind of nice to have a little bit of a break. But I have a feeling the travel bug is going to really bite down in March, I’d say, of 2021, when this cycle would start all over again.

JAIME: The shows that would normally run in the earlier part of the year have either postponed to later in the year or have provided a platform that’s strictly virtual. So the expectation on the behalf of these organizations is that they are not going to be operating as normal.

ASHLEY: For those shows that are still moving forward full steam ahead with their original dates, I worry about how realistic that goal is. But I know that the population at large needs to maintain their CE in order for license renewals and things. Those things seem to be moving at their normal schedule. So there is definitely a demand for education and using this time to either perfect or gain new skills, but I just don’t see it happening in person for a while. 

JAIME: For as much as we might complain that our professional growth was stunted over the last year, perhaps it was the opportunity to catch everyone up to the information they should have had in our industry to begin with.


ASHLEY: Yeah, it was a great way to level set, especially around the information around sanitation, disinfection protocols, et cetera. That was something that was really heartening that we talked about, I think last week, knowing that this is information that wasn’t always show-stopping, but the fact that there’s a renewed interest in this and how it can be applied in the real world gives me hope for our industry.


JAIME: The types of classes that will be popular in 2021, if they’re the same as pre-pandemic, I’ll be really disappointed.

ASHLEY: I wonder about that myself. I was thinking about like, what would a show in 2022 look like? What would, what would be the big marquee classes? And I think we’re still going to see some of the same stuff about learning how to do hair extensions and learning how to do different types of lash extensions. I, I, I’m not going to be naive enough to think that we’re just going to snap into this new reality that’s all about business building, and sanitation, and all of that. I think that those seem to be foundational classes that people want to get under their belt, master it, and move on, you know, back to the fun stuff. So maybe that’ll be like a fun distraction and way to feel normal again, I guess. I don’t know. I feel like that’s okay. It’s okay to be a little bit silly in the way that we approach what we want to learn right now. I feel like as long as members of our industry are still hungry for knowledge and want to learn, I can’t begrudge them that. I just hope that that would be taken in tandem with some of the things we talked about, like business building, compliance, advocacy, safety, all of the things that have a tendency to feel like prerequisites.

JAIME: I would hope that those would be in addition to, not in lieu of.

ASHLEY: Right. But again, I mean, being realistic, I have a feeling that that’s just going to be what it is. But at least the safety classes and the sanitation classes won’t be empty.

JAIME: No, I wouldn’t expect that they would be, and the messages that are getting reinforced, not only coming from within our industry, but from outside the industry from public health officials and regulators should really emphasize just how important that information is.

ASHLEY: Absolutely. And this is such a great opportunity as well to invest in your business if, and I don’t necessarily just mean monetarily, but just investing time in picking up new skill sets, learning how to market your business, run your business, brush up on operations, get your financials in order. I know we talked about this way back at the beginning of the pandemic on an episode about what we could be doing. And I kind of laugh at that episode about how we talked about things like doing a deep clean of your salon and updating your website, like that was enough for about two weeks of time to keep us occupied. But right now, I think it’s you know you’re going to have this time of diminished capacity, diminished income, but you will gain back a lot of time. So what can we do with that time to be constructive or at least have it serve whatever result we’re looking for when we’re able to resume some sort of normal operations?


JAIME: Keeping it real, we’ve both invested time in trying to upgrade our ability to provide content, either live or recorded video.

ASHLEY: Definitely and invested in learning how to better facilitate a virtual learning experience, whether it be through learning how to edit a podcast or upgrading our ability to do live video. I know a lot of educators are really trying, I think with varying degrees of success, but that’s been another great thing that sort of comes out of this. It’s like we’re all very good at Zoom now and trying to figure out how we can translate this very tactile experience of creating beauty on someone’s body to a virtual learning platform.

JAIME: And as much as we might be challenged by it as individuals, show organizers are challenged at a much higher level.

ASHLEY: And that brings me to, I guess, understanding that there really is no shame or there really should be no guilt involved in looking to gain education in something that might be outside of the beauty industry, whether it’s a temporary situation or something you’re looking to transition into. I think that that’s just a good, smart idea to have more options and gain more skills. I don’t think education is ever a bad idea.

JAIME: We’ve covered so many topics over the last year that even if you were interested in learning more about accounting, never expecting to become one, but just so that you could apply that knowledge to your own business, I think would be really worthwhile.

ASHLEY: Definitely. And if it saves you money from having to hire an accountant, that would be something that would probably pay itself back in a year, if not less. So lots to look forward to in 2021. I think that there’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel, but I just want to caution listeners that we’re not out of the tunnel yet. And don’t get out over your skis as far as investing in equipment, product. We have to get to the end of this before we can move on, even though we all so desperately want to.

JAIME: And even when we reach a point where we feel like it’s safer to resume some of those normal activities, I still think we’re going to see a lot of cautiousness. I know that I’m not going to be as anxious to travel as I would have been before. I loved to travel before. I was very at home. And now I’m actually having frustration dreams involving travel, which is hilarious. They’re nightmares, basically.

ASHLEY: Awesome. Well, there’s a lot to unpack there, but hopefully you’ll stick with us as we try to navigate this as well, because, again, we, we all don’t really know what’s going to happen. None of us do, but it’s a continuation of linking arms and trying to get through this together.

JAIME: Well, I appreciate being able to do this with you, and we’re going to keep expanding our knowledge, and pulling in different experts on topics that we should be addressing anyway.

ASHLEY: Yes, stay tuned for that great content, great episodes coming. So make sure that you are subscribed to Outgrowth so that you get notification of new episodes the moment that they drop on Mondays. And if you’re enjoying Outgrowth, leave us a review on Apple podcasts. You can do that now with just one click. Visit


JAIME: As always you can follow us and comment on recent episodes on Instagram at @outgrowthpodcast.

ASHLEY: Excellent. All right. Well, until next week, everyone. Be smart.

JAIME: Be safe.



Described as the best beauty podcast in 2020, Outgrowth Podcast is for hairstylists, nail techs, estheticians, massage therapists and lash technicians. Hosted by beauty industry experts Ashley Gregory Hackett and Jaime Schrabeck, PhD, this salon industry podcast has helpful  interviews with guests that teach topics from increasing salon clientele, salon marketing, covid guidelines, beauty industry insights, starting a salon, renting a salon suite, salon Instagram tips, and how to run a successful salon. Join us for weekly episodes of hair podcasts, nail podcasts, esty podcast, and more.

ready to grow?

Join the outgrowth community