“COVID has put a lot of people on a different path and this is where our creative and innovative skills have to come together. I’m just so thankful for the SBDC. If I didn’t have them on my team, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Summary: When the pandemic forced her to close her beauty salon, Tara Cruz worked with her SBDC advisors to pivot her business to online retail
In those first days of the economic shut down in March, Tara Cruz did her best to stay positive.
At the time, she was the owner of Touch of Paradise Spa in downtown Fairfield and Cruz thought the closures would last for a week or so. But as days turned into weeks, a stark reality set in.
Cruz had already been a Solano SBDC client for five years, utilizing the free one-on-one advising and workshops. When the economy shut down, her business advisor was one of the first people she reached out to.
Through meeting with her advisor, Cruz learned about layoff aversion grants available through Solano County's Workforce Development Board. She applied for and was awarded a grant and utilized the funds to purchase software and equipment that allowed her to offer virtual nails, facials and micro dermabrasion treatments to clients.
As the future of her brick and mortar location remained uncertain, Cruz continued to work with Solano business advisors to pivot her business to full e-commerce. She was optimistic to transition online and also worked on redesigning her website and marketing her business online.
Cruz now operates her online business, shoplajefa.com. The tagline on her website: From the Spa to Your Front Door. Her business makes it possible for her clients to have their favorite spa tools and products shipped to their front door for consistent use in the convenience of their own home.