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Practitioner Spotlight during COVID-19: Shelley Folkes Aesthetics

Next up in our practitioner spotlight during COVID-19 is the utterly fabulous Shelley Folkes from Shelley Folkes Aesthetics, who we’re a little bit in love with, to be honest.

So, Shelley, this is all weird, isn’t it? Tell us where you’re at

I’m an ED nurse so I confess to being a bit torn. I was initially a bit flippant, but shit got real fairly quickly. By the beginning of this week I think I knew business was going to have to be paused. People were cancelling and the government was becoming increasingly more suggestive of widespread shutdown. I decided to honour all bookings but not push for new ones. It felt a little tactless in the current climate to advertise what are, essentially, luxury treatments.

Are clients still wanting treatments?

Most of my clients have cancelled with just a few remaining, and I anticipate the clinic being closed for the rest of the month, at least. I’m lucky in a way that I’m still very active in clinical nursing, and have never stopped working in A&E. So I’ve worked my days off this week and will just continue to do that for now. Assuming I don't get sick, I’ll continue to do that until things settle, then I’ll reopen, hopefully within a month.

Are you going to focus on the business at all?

I’ll continue posting on social media but probably in a slightly different, more topical way. I’m very into ‘positivity’ and I hope this all actually rebalances a few things in life and in the world. I think we can all support each other emotionally and practically. We just have to be creative. I’ll do my bit in A&E but I’m happy to use my voice on social media to encourage people not to give up and remind them there is a silver lining to every cloud, without taking away the fact that this is a very shitty, dark cloud.

Any other tactics you’re thinking about?

I’ll encourage online purchase, as I retail too, and use the time to sort my life out in other ways - who knows what this will bring. Worse case I scale it back a bit. But I have a brand, fairly well recognised locally and I’m confident I can be flexible enough to weather the storm.

What do you think practitioners can do to help themselves?

Practitioners need to (and I hate this saying, but) think outside the box a bit. It isn’t sensible currently to be doing injectables right now. Botox needs a two-week review and fillers can have big complications days later. What if they, or the practitioner, got sick? Or an enforced lockdown happens? It’s not worth the risk, currently, in my opinion. But keeping things going, staying in people’s minds ready for when normality resumes is important.

So, for me, in summary, it has to be paused. It’s not really appropriate to operate currently. Use the time to regroup, refresh and stay relevant. Be tactful and respectful. People's lives are changing forever. Support your colleagues, even just being there for them to chat to. Be creative.

How are you staying positive?

The most important thing is to stay safe. In my darkest of moments my mantra is ‘This time will pass.’ And it always does.

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