Salon proves we’re all in this togetherManitoba · Jun 2, 2020
Amanda Alsop & Amy Graceffo, owners of FIFTH in Winnipeg
Entrepreneurs can be cutthroat and competitive. This approach may be advantageous when you’re on top of the world, but perilous when your world is turned upside down. Amanda Alsop and Amy Graceffo, the owners of Winnipeg’s FIFTH, chose to embrace an altogether different approach. They built a business on exceptional customer service and connection, and when times got tough the community they nurtured was there to support them.
“Everyone is trying to help one another. It's a community bond; helping neighbors in need, giving donations, or receiving giveaways from other small businesses.” – Amanda Alsop, co-owner of FIFTH
Salons and barbershops are more than the sum of their services. Sure, they’re places that cut our hair, but they’re also safe spaces where we rant and rave to stylists; our de facto shrinks whom we’ve built a rapport with over the years. The cuts and the chats are transformative. They combine to make us feel way better on the way out than we did on the way in. Amanda Alsop and Amy Graceffo, the owners of Winnipeg’s FIFTH, understand this dynamic like no one else. It’s why they built a beloved salon where everything genuinely revolves around the customer.
At FIFTH it isn’t uncommon to be welcomed with a hug or be spoiled with wine, cocktails and charcuterie. Yes, you read that right! It’s a special place that allows guests to be themselves in a space that buzzes with an energy that enlightens everyone who experiences it.
The care is real and sincere, it’s why FIFTH decided to close its doors ahead of the provincial mandate. “We are proud to be amongst many of Winnipeg’s small businesses that made the difficult decision,” says Alsop. “Our goal was to keep the spread of the virus low, and we feel the early actions of Winnipeg's business community helped.”
The community cooperation was real, and resulted in Winnipeg reopening quicker than most other Canadian cities. FIFTH is now open but not yet in the clear. They’re operating at a sixth of their business potential due to the implementation of safety and social distancing measures while their overhead costs are unchanged. "What gives us hope is all the love and support we are getting from the community! Our clients have been so patient, understanding, and supportive of our business." And it goes deeper, “Even us, we received tools to make our masks more comfortable from support systems around us. We are so thankful for all the kindness.”
FIFTH is a testament to community. It matters. As does relaying on it at the expense of pride and ego. “We would advise other owners to utilize supports. If that means government supports or programs, or to lean on friends and family. We all need some help and support during these times. We are all better together!”
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