2020 Reflection ~ Ballarat Sanctuary Day Spa

2020 Reflection ~ Ballarat Sanctuary Day Spa

Adapt, Pivot and Progress

The COVID-19 crisis has forced everyone to adapt to a "new normal".

Suddenly, we all had to find new ways of doing things – whether it was remote learning, Zoom meetings, contactless delivery or virtual events.

Being a business owner during this time has been exceptionally tough. But as new challenges have arisen, we’ve found opportunities to adapt, pivot and progress.

Four business women from regional and rural Victoria and NSW, share with us how they’ve paused, adjusted and thrived during a global pandemic. 

Sarah Emmanuel - owner of Ballarat Sanctuary Day Spa

Beauty – Ballarat, Victoria

It’s funny to look back on our business tagline leading into this year – ‘Make yourself a priority in 2020’ – with the opportunity for our clients to commit to a 12 month wellness membership with us. Little did we know that COVID-19 would come along and close us down for what has been a total of 16 weeks (over two lockdown periods).

Being in the beauty industry, services generate 85 per cent of our income. We use the power of touch each and every day to help manage a client’s concern, whether it be pain or stress management, treating a skin condition or hair removal. Sadly, in a world-wide pandemic these things are deemed a luxury not an essential service.

Personally, having been in an industry I love for 19 years, I struggled mentally to adjust to home life. There was also the initial financial stress and the concern for the wellbeing of 10 staff members who rely on your business.

Thankfully, government grants, introduction of JobKeeper and flexibility from my landlord and suppliers meant I could stress less about business and focus on being a mum and the dreaded task of home schooling.

Two women in robes at relaxing at Ballarat Sanctuary Day Spa

I feel lucky we are positioned in a regional town where there is a huge push to support local businesses. We were able to adapt quickly and found a lot of clients turned to online sales of both product and vouchers, and these sales helped to give us a small purpose as well as staying connected with our followers via our social media channels.

Returning to work in June, I personally had a newfound appreciation for the simpler life. I was grateful for the 10 weeks at home with my family that I would never have had otherwise. One of my best ISO memories was heading out for a walk and getting stuck in a huge downpour. Miss 5 and I ran back home and jumped in the bath to warm up and dry off. As she was drying off she stated this was, ‘The best day ever!’.

We have now just returned from our second lockdown which was a huge rollercoaster. I think the novelty of being at home had certainly worn off and the reality of too much baking and not enough exercise was starting to show. In 2021, I vow to support local gyms as much as local cafes!


This article was originally published in OAK Magazine Issue 8.

Experience luxury at award winning luxury day spa Ballarat Sanctuary Day Spa.

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