This series is aimed to provide a Business Spotlight on local people and businesses in the East Contra Costa County community that are being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and their response to the virus.
In today’s business spotlight, Angie Hicks-Bashir, owner of Rapunzel Wigs highlights how she has been forced to shutter for the time being due to the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain issues.
ECT will be interviewing 30-businesses in 30-days during April to provide both information and to promote local business.
What is Rapunzel Wigs?
I supply wigs to women who are suffering from hair loss whether it be from a medical condition (Alopecia, Cancer, from medication, or any other medical issue), as well as supply wigs for entertainment for people who just want to have fun, try another look, or just don’t want to comb their hair that day.
Why did you open your business?
I now wear a wig as part of my outfit. Back when I thought of opening a store, I was always traveling in corporate America as I worked in Los Angeles and Chicago. I wore my hair in a bun and I would always see other women with perfect hair and I asked them how they were able to do it. It turns out they were all wearing wigs. At first I was ordering them online but locally it was limited. So that is when I decided to open my own business.
At first, I tried the whole eCommerce business, but it turned out people would want to try them on and so a brick and mortar store was a better fit.
Why do you love most about the service you provide?
Honestly, some of these women are broken for a variety of reasons from hair falling out, bald spots due to medication, they result to wearing hats and scarfs. Some people don’t leave the house for months because of the way they look. I can’t tell you the joy these women have for having hair to look normal to help them go out and feel normal and cute again. Half the time they do not even know they have a wig on. The joy is when people are suffering and feeling down, I can help bring some joy to their life by providing wigs.
How has the coronavirus impacted your business?
Right now, I am shut down and cannot provide service to any of my clients. Even now, I am still getting a dozen calls each day from people wanting a wig and I can’t do anything to help them at the moment because of the county order. Most of these women are sick and some of them have either been in the hospital or around infected people. Even if I was to open up for a wig, I would have to take precautions from masks and gloves and cleaning—which is why there is a county order in the first place.
So right now, being closed, I have no income at all after recently moving into a larger location which equates to higher rent and bills. It’s a tough situation and like every other business impacted, its emotionally draining. I am in tears; I want to help my clients.
For example, for Easter, I ordered 150 wigs that I can’t even get to the clients. They are just sitting there, and I can’t even distribute them. For those who order them online, it may not be the right color, the return policy right now is interesting because of coronavirus, they are not accepting returns or exchanges. If you buy it, you are stuck with it.
How have you responded to coronavirus – how has your business changed?
My business has completely stopped. I’ve looked into mailing out wigs, moving to ecommerce, but its not feasible because to do that, I would be digging a bigger financial hole. I can’t go into the post office to mail it, I need packaging, stamps, UPS which is all an expense. Ultimately, people want to try on the wigs and experiment in the store and I can’t do that. It’s frustrating.
I also have clients who re-order every few months and right now, I can’t even do that because the suppliers are shutdown. Right now, my vendors are not even providing human hair wigs. So really, I can’t even adjust my business based on suppliers and the reality of the situation with all the new government directives.
Any special deals right now that the community can take advantage of?
I can’t do anything at the moment, but when I do re-open it comes down to how long I am forced to be closed and potentially I do not even know if I can re-open. When I do, I will have to mark down the products just to re-attract my client base and a new client base.
Business Spotlight Series
- #4: Rick Fuller Says Technology Helping Move Property During Covid-19 Pandemic
- #3: The Bike Shop Reopens After Clarification on Essential Business
- #2: Revive Salon and Spa Closes, Now Waits Out Stay-At-Home Order
- # 1: Josh Young at Newfront Insurance Navigates Through Coronavirus Pandemic
Disclosure: this series is being done at no cost to local business or individuals as an attempt to provide value to our community. If interested in potentially being included in this series, email [email protected]