NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Starting a new business in the midst of a pandemic can be quite a daunting task, but doing so at the age of 18 raises the difficulty level tenfold.
For promising young stylist Leah Macara, however, those challenges have only fueled her drive to succeed. In addition to traveling on her own to the capital from her hometown of Eleuthera, she is now running her own hairstyling business.
Starting out as a salon apprentice, Macara quickly ascended to the stylist role, with a specialty for dreadlocks. From starter locs to loc re-twists and countless other styles, her work has already made a name for itself, garnering the budding “loctician” a growing list of local clientele.
Over the past few months, she launched her at-home services, giving her clients access to quality haircare services without the hustle and bustle of the busy and sometimes crowded salon environment — a plus amid concerns surrounding the global pandemic.
Like scores of young entrepreneurs, Macara has found a way to adapt to the new normal and has put in a number of relevant safety protocols to ensure the safety of herself and her clients.
“Honestly, working from home for me is great,” she said. “The area that I am in is safe and gated. My clients feel comfortable being there, which is most important to me.”
Loc’d by Leah clients are encouraged to cancel their appointments if they or someone in their household is feeling unwell, and are required to wear a mask as they receive their services. They are also required to sanitize before entering and are also subject to temperature checks. Macara has also implemented a strict scheduling plan that allows her to maintain social distancing.
As she continues to work to develop her skills and grow her business, this brave 18-year-old is really just doing what she loves. Her love for styling hair is matched only by her passion for helping other people feel confident about themselves.
“Making my clients happy and seeing a smile on their face makes my day,” she said. “I enjoy talking to clients while styling their hair, and I learn new things every day from them and about my new home.”
While Macara currently enjoys the freedom of her at-home services, her long-term goal is to open her own salon location when the time is right.
In the meantime, her clients are raving about her services.
One of her clients said: “I’ve been to Leah to style my dreadlocks five times and I’ve loved it each time. She’s a very professional and friendly young woman. Her work is consistently very nice and neat. I’m always pleased with my hairstyles. I would definitely recommend her to anybody looking for a stylist.”
Another regular customer referred to Macara as a “hairstylist who stays on top of her game by integrating trends into her client’s personal style also understanding face shape and hair types to create looks that complement her client’s natural features”.
Macara’s tenacity to survive on her own and flourish as an entrepreneur led her to enter Barefoot Marketing’s Social Media Giveaway last month, which she won over quite a few entries.
This gave her one month’s free social media management, logo work, advertising help and more.
The young entrepreneur said: “Right now, I am enjoying working home and my clients love it, too. I look forward to doing so until I can open up my own salon in the future.”