Opening a beauty business in the middle of COVID and lockdown turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made, says SILK franchisee Shivawn Jeans
At the height of the pandemic with lockdowns implemented, group gatherings banned and businesses closed, Shivawn Jeans opened her first SILK Laser clinics. While most would look at the business landscape during a global pandemic and wait for better circumstances, Jeans didn’t.
After moving to Newcastle from Junee to work in the trauma and emergency department in the local hospital, Jeans found herself juggling shift work over a decade. Before having kids, she started to look for a role that would help her balance family and work life.
“I had two kids and the emergency department was very full on, it takes a lot out of you. My husband was working 14 hour days in the mines. I needed to get out of shift work,” she explained. “I was doing 12 hour shifts at the hospital. So I did my immunisation course, worked in a GP setting and worked in the emergency department one day a week.”
However, when her son was three months old, Jeans got a sinus infection which developed into a post viral issue. With debilitating migraines, she turned to botox to help her cope.
After witnessing the many benefits of cosmetic injectables through this experience, it transformed her entire career. “I became very interested in cosmetic nursing and applied for several jobs.”
Upon receiving an offer as a cosmetic nurse in Wagga Wagga, she spent 10 weeks in Sydney training for the opportunity to enter the cosmetics injectables world but found herself itching for more out of her career several years after. “I wanted more out of my career – my kids were getting older, which enabled me to do more work.”
And with that, she found SILK.
“I was so nervous . It has to be one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done,” she recalled. “I was contending with the overheads of staff, establishing a new clinic. It was daunting, to say the least.”
Concerned that her heavy clinical care background and lack of business experience would also make the process all the more difficult, she soon found her worries lifted. “I loved the model of nurses as franchisees and owners” and shortly realised that her vast clinical care background was all she needed. “The nurse owners drive the clinic and the SILK head office support us.”
However, with the uncertainty of the pandemic, Jeans soon found her ambitions and aspirations tested.
“I was meant to open on 14th April 2020 but that was delayed by COVID lockdowns. On top of that, my husband was having back surgery, putting my original plans to a grinding halt. I had to lay off 8 staff before we even opened the doors. And we couldn’t get jobkeeper because we hadn’t opened.”
But, by the 19th of June 2020 – every one of those people were rehired.
Citing the Botox Boom, where Australia saw the demand in cosmetic enhancements skyrocket 50%, Jeans explained that people were just “much more inclined to spend money on selfcare.”
I thought the demand would be short lived but it hasn’t let up. “So many people would come in and say ‘I saw myself on Zoom – I didn’t realise I had these lines’.”
“I never expected to do the figures that we are doing, It continues to grow and blow my expectations away. Opening my own clinic has been one of the most tiring and exhausting things I’ve ever done, but also, the most rewarding.”