Making them

Beverly Bates used a chop saw to cut Plexiglas for the construction of

protective shields.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial hardships for

many, including Beverly Bates, owner of Acrylic Window Solutions.

It makes and installs acrylic windows, and has had to stop because it

requires going into people’s homes and businesses to install the

windows from the inside — Bates is not considered an essential service.

The pandemic didn’t keep her out of her workshop.

Bates found a way to make protective shields for salon workers and

donated her works to them.

“I was looking for a way to encourage people and reach out to people,

including my business associates, and one of these business was Luciana

Ierino from Salon 10,” said Bates. “I knew her whole family was in the

beauty industry and this is pretty tough on the entire spectrum of her

family.”

When Bates offered Ierino’s family help, she said she wasn’t even

thinking about protective shields, even though she had been noticing

them around the city — specifically in grocery stores.

Ierino responded to Bates’ offer and told her that the business wanted

to be “ready” when they reopen after COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed,

and she would need a shield to protect their nail technicians.

“She asked me, ‘Do you think you can do it?’ “And I said, ‘Well I can

try,” says Bates.

After making several prototypes based on pictures that Ierino sent to

her, Ierino was able to try them out with her sister inside their salon

and they came up with an idea that would work.

“So I told her I’d like to donate them to her . . . then I gave it a

little more thought and said, ‘You know what I’d like? I’d like to

donate to as many nail techs as I can and help them get started up

again,” said Bates.

“I have been in business both in a partnership and on my own for more

than 30 years and I know how hard it is to be in business. I know what

the struggle is and I especially know what it’s like to be woman in

business. I just wanted to pay it forward because people believed in me

and have given me a chance.”

“I didn’t expect that,” said Ierino, adding that she warned Bates

about limiting the donated shields as demand will grow high.

Ierino said salons don’t know what to expect from the government in

terms of reopening when restrictions are lifted, but they want to be

ready.

“We have tried to get as much personal protection equipment as

possible, we are trying to be prepared and we are trying to follow what

they are doing in other cities,” Ierino said.

“When you get your nails done, you are sitting face to face with the

technician,” said Ierino. “We are going to wear a mask and do

everything we need to . . . and the shield will be an extra precaution

for the client and for us.”

Ierino posted the availability of the nail technician shields to

licensed, professional and private salons on her personal, business

social media site and Bates said things just exploded from there.

Calls started to come in with requests and just last week, Bates

delivered 17 shields to different private salons. Living in the rural

Nolalu area, the delivery meant a 40-minute drive to the city, plus the

multiple stops.

“That was something really important for me to do,” said Bates. “For

me, the reward has been all the unbelievable and beautiful comments of

gratitude that I’ve gotten. And I don’t want anyone to think that they

(salon) didn’t want to pay for them. . . . They all wanted to pay for

them, but I said I wanted to do this for as long as I can.”

That time is closing in as Bates is running out of supplies that she

purchased at full cost for the project. When COVID-19 hit, I didn’t

have a lot of stock in my shop at the time,” she said, adding that she

shopped locally at Floyds Auto Glass for materials.

After some testing, she fine tuned the production of the shields and

has what she calls an assembly line. To date, she has donated them to

25 different private salons.

With protective shields becoming the “new normal” for opening

businesses, Bates will now take orders and will have to charge for them

to earn her own living.

The creation of her shields has enabled Bates to diversify her

business, making her capable of producing any type of acrylic system

that her clients require for general purposes or for COVID-19

protection.

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