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Local spa owners laboring on Labor Day say pandemic has taken its toll

Labor Day marks the end of summer and is typically a transition time for many local businesses. Local spa owners are laboring to give people a stress-free experience

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Labor Day is a chance for people to unwind and take a day off work to relax. For some, the day is spent doing some self-care at local salons and spas. 

Labor Day marks the end of summer and is typically a transition time for many local businesses. Local Arkansas spa owners are laboring to give people a stress-free experience, but some said the pandemic took a toll on business. 

"During the pandemic, it's been really slow. It's a lot slower than before," said Krista Woods, the owner of KC Curves Spa in Little Rock. 

They offer yoni steams, a holistic pamper treatment for women. The indigenous practice uses steam to deliver healing herbs to the female reproductive system.

She opened up her shop in 2019 and said business was booming in its inaugural year. During the pandemic, however, feet traffic into her store tanked.

"I usually don't work as much, but I'm coming to make up for hours I don't have the employees. I've had to actually let some of the employees go," said Woods.

She was hoping for Labor Day to be busy for this year, but the early morning only saw a light trickle of traffic. Still, it was a priority for her to stay open.

"I really love what I do and I feel like this is my contribution to helping people with their health cause this is great for the immune system. I'm not a doctor per se, but I'm a holistic therapist," said Woods.

In a place where people come to relax, it's been no spa day for business owners like Woods. 

Over in North Little Rock, Yoni Steams Queen has been facing the same troubles. Owner Diana Thomas also opened up her spa three years ago.

"There has been struggle. There is some worry there, but we try to stay positive," said Thomas. 

Her focus throughout the pandemic has been keeping customers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated safe. She requires masks, temperature checks, and hand sanitizing while also coming up with innovative ways to stay afloat. 

She also lost a few employees in her salon who decided it was safer to not be around different customers coming in and out of the shop.

"We're also offering online services for our clients, Yoni steam practitioner classes and they can also buy productions, Yoni products online," said Thomas.

Until business gets back to a more normal pace, these owners say they will continue laboring to help keep people stress-free during the pandemic. 

"We're hoping that the world will be healed and things will be healed where people feel more safe coming out to support small businesses like us," said Thomas.

"So we're just here. We come every day. We're here every holiday so we're just waiting on the business and trying to stay strong until then," said Woods.

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