A new year brings new opportunities. That’s typically the vision for many small businesses, but then the unexpected happens. The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic changed things for many people, adversely affecting small businesses that rely on a thriving community. While established businesses that have been in Red Bank may be able to weather the storm, it’s a totally different story for a brand new business that’s just earning its wings.
Our next story focuses on Feather & Line Hair Studio, located on 23 Mechanic Street in Red Bank, NJ. They opened up not too long ago, just a short 8 weeks before the state of emergency was enforced — forcing non-essential businesses to close and for people to practice social distancing. For its owner, Brianne Wickline, it was an undeniably scary situation.
“We were concerned, it was scary, it was definitely very scary,” said Wickline. That kind of reaction is expected, just because of the uncertainty with the future. “But, we’re strong and we have a great clientele and everyone’s always been so supportive and everybody reaching out, sending us our well wishes and just supporting us emotionally. The support that everyone has given us has been incredible.”
For Wickline and many other business owners in the same predicament, her focus shifted toward her staff — a sentiment that’s by many others in town. She said, “It’s scary, I felt very responsible for everyone’s well being. As a business owner, you have to be responsible for that because that’s your family now and you have to take into account everything that could go wrong. You want to protect them and you want to be their advocates.”
I love this town. I love it! I feel like I’m back to my roots.-Brianne Wickline, Feather & Line Hair Studio
Despite not conducting normal business activities, Wickline is optimistic about the future thanks in part to the support from the community — who are ordering hair products and buying gift cards. Leaving reviews and talking about them on social media are just a couple of the many ways the local community can help out Feather & Line through these challenging times.
As a Red Bank native who has deep roots here, it’s no surprise she’s passionate about the area — as well as her studio. When you love what you do and love where you live, it’s a combo that drives motivation to succeed. “I love this town. I love it! I feel like I’m back to my roots. I feel just the energy in this town is like none other. I love it here. I’m very happy to be back.”