At IBI, our community is important to us. COVID-19 has forced many businesses to close their doors for the forceable future, which ultimately takes clients out of our artists’ chair.
We reached out to Daniel Koye, a New Jersey based hairstylist who works in theatre, film, and television to get inside look on how the global pandemic is affecting him.
How is this affecting your business? Are you shut down, and if so was it a mandated shut or are you optionally shutting to help prevent the spread?
I work in NYC at NBC and other major networks and they have shut down all productions including everything from live studio audiences to complete network primetime television shows. All film and television pre-production, filming, and post-production have been shut down putting 280,000 people out of work for an indefinite amount of time. Broadway also shut their doors and the stage went dark putting at least another 3000 people out of work and pay. Because of the virus this is only one of 7 times that Broadway has been truly dark.
If you are not working, how are you expressing your creativity now that they don’t/can’t have clients and creative projects?
I have been trying to make the most of this free time by putting forth more of an effort into projects that I usually don’t have time for while in the middle of production or filming time, like social media and various types of projects.
Are you doing anything now that will help your business later when you are ready to re-open?
I have definitely been going through a social media revamp working on getting more content that will help strengthen my brand and presence as an artist once we are able to go back to work. Planoly.com is a social media organizer that helps me plan posts and schedules posts for me months in advance. Getting these things planned now is helping me prepare for working again because I won’t have to worry about it by the time production starts back up.
I have also started to re-front almost my entire wig stock that I rent out to the local theatre and film productions. This makes time go by and makes sure that I have quality products for my clients.
Another thing I have done is start teaching video seminars because everyone has been moving to online school. I have had the opportunity to teach classes with students learning to make wigs and how to put custom hairlines on wigs they have in their stock.
Can you offer any advice for fellow artisans on what they could do during this time?
Currently we are all being forced to slow down and take time that we rarely get in our busy schedules. I have been taking this time to learn more skills especially in website development and video editing. This is the time to learn new skills! Learning new skills or honing in on your craft and practicing new techniques is the perfect way to pass the time because you will be increasing your skill set that will benefit you in the future while also helping alleviate some of the anxiety and boredom.
“Learning new skills or honing in on your craft and practicing new techniques is the perfect way to pass the time because you will be increasing your skill set that will benefit you in the future while also helping alleviate some of the anxiety and boredom.”
What can clients do to support your business?
They can support my businesses and others by joining local hairstylists Facebook Groups, like my WigHackers Facebook group, and following their Instagrams. They can also buy my books, Wigging Out and The Business Behind Wigs to learn more about wig making and how to make it a profitable investment, and educational videos at danielkoye.com. This way they will learn a new artisanal skill and come out of this dark time better than before.
What and/or who is inspiring you?
I have been getting inspired by scrolling through my social media and sharing stories and talking to other stylists and clients. It has been great to help keep each other positive and make each other laugh. TikTok (@danielkoye) has been a HOOT! I have no clue what I’m doing but I’m creating content there to make people smile and feel like they are not alone during this time.