Last February, Danielle Bates was one of just 30 entrepreneurs who received a Fiserv Back2Business COVID-19 relief program $10,000 grant. It was awarded in partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks. Like the others in this select group, Danielle is focused, determined, hardworking, and successful with her business. So when she offers up some advice, it might be a good idea to listen. As a small business owner, we hope you do.

First, though, a little background information. Danielle is the owner of Fusion Beauty Lounge. Located at 91st and Burleigh, it’s a full-service, upscale salon (one satisfied customer says it has “a very chill atmosphere”). Danielle specializes in hair extensions, color, natural styles, and maintaining healthy hair. With five people plus one intern working with her, the salon also features a nail tech and an esthetician.

When asked what she likes about being a small business owner, Danielle said, “It doesn’t feel like work as much because I enjoy what I do. I’m always encouraged to continue.”

Like almost everybody else, her business has had to make adjustments due to the pandemic. For instance, she used to have multiple vendors visit her salon. Now she has just one. That makes it difficult to try new products, so, for right now, Danielle orders what she already knows will work.

Appointment booking has been impacted by Covid, as well. Before, she was able to book appointments every 30 minutes with an assistant. Now, however, time has to be built in between clients in order for staff to wipe everything down.

To help keep up with the constant changes in the beauty industry—especially now—she admits to one guilty pleasure: YouTube. “What has really been fun for me is YouTube. There’s always something new to learn.”

On another pandemic-related issue, some clients get anxious if they see the stylists coming in close contact with others in the salon (they’re very aware of social distancing). To “keep people at peace a little bit,” Danielle tries to engage with one client at a time. “It’s difficult and I don’t think I have it mastered, but you know, it’s just keeping the client in mind,” she adds.

She does her own social media and had recent success with a Facebook post. “I sent out a post that basically asked whoever was interested in new things and new styles if they would be models for me. That way I could try new stuff on them. I think it’ll be something that keeps me encouraged and engaged because I received great feedback from that post,” says Danielle.

Remember earlier in this article I mentioned some wise words Danielle has for small business owners? Now that you know a little bit about her, you might be more inclined to listen to what she has to say.

First, she would “like to share the importance of self care. Self care is so important. A lot of times we work so hard on making everybody feel good or doing everything to satisfy or please other people, we sometimes forget about ourselves.”

Next, she’d like to add, “As far as having a business, it’s going to be a lot of work, but we can do it. We’re built for this. We’re resilient. Owners go through so much in a day and I just feel that if you’re given the opportunity to do it [be self-employed], I definitely encourage anybody to jump out there and give it your all. You don’t know how much power you possess until you use it.”

Here is the contact information for Danielle:

Danielle Bates, Owner
Fusion Beauty Lounge
(414) 839-1529

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