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Beauty business beats covid-19

Pip Osborne, owner of Pippilous Beauty Boutique, is working as a delivery driver for New World. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Lisa Urbani

Vivacious and tenacious are two words to describe Pip Osborne, the owner of Pippilous Beauty Boutique in Masterton.

Having started out from one bedroom in her home, finally, three years ago, Pip realised her dream of owning her own beauty salon in Masterton, and also opened a branch in Eketahuna last year.

She was not about to let covid-19 interfere with her plans.

When it became obvious that it would be difficult to meet the social distancing regulations at Level 2 of the lockdown – in a beauty therapy environment where physical contact is routine – Pip immediately closed her businesses, thus putting her five staff members out of work.

Luckily, wage subsidies could ensure they were taken care of, but the bills didn’t stop coming.

“It was scary, I had no warning, I couldn’t prepare, I had no idea how long it would go on for, and as a small business I didn’t have lots of funds available,” she said.

“There was no income, but I still had to pay rent, GST, insurances, the telephone and internet, and some suppliers.”

Not one to wallow, Pip came up with a solution and began putting out the word that she was looking for a job to make extra money to cover her expenses.

For two weeks, she looked around for opportunities and applied for several jobs, but no one got back to her.

It was a worrying time, and she wondered how she would make ends meet.

Since she already had a business loan, she did not think another one would solve her problems, but would only create more stress, and she doubted a bank would give her one anyway.

She was very grateful when the Masterton New World supermarket offered her a job as their delivery driver.

“I was made to feel welcome immediately – the team is amazing, and it was an eye-opener to see what goes on behind the scenes, how hard they work, their attitudes, it’s been so much fun.”

For Pip, it’s also been a “nice mental break”.

“As much as I love my business and feel passionate about it, I can now just go to work, do my job and get paid.”

She has been very busy learning on the job, but in true Pip-style, she has taken to it with a positive attitude.

New World is the only supermarket in Masterton that does phone orders for the elderly and vulnerable, and thus Pip’s work is dependent on the orders of the day.

Generally, she helps out with the phone order shopping in the morning, and then makes deliveries in the afternoon.

Some days are busier than others, but her clients, many of whom are not allowed to go anywhere as they are over 70, are very pleased to see her cheerful smile, and exchange friendly greetings, even if it is from a distance.

Pip’s salon can reopen at Level 2, although it will not be able to go back to full capacity – but at least it’s a start.

And while her staff manage the salons, Pip will continue making deliveries, and keeping her enterprise – Pippilous Beauty Boutique – in business.

“I built it (my business) from scratch and I put my heart and soul into it,” she said – and now her initiative and hard work have paid off.

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