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COVER STORY | Moving Forward: Ashley Smith



SALON & SPA OWNER SHARES HOW SHE NAVIGATED THE TOUGH WATERS THIS PAST YEAR

NAPERVILLE/OSWEGO–Even a business that has been opened since 1972 and running strong was not immune to the complete shutdown from March 22 through May 29, 2020 - only offering limited retail sales by delivery.


Oswego resident, Ashley Smith had worked at Elegante Salon and Day Spa in Naperville, servicing hair, nail, and skincare for men and women since 2009 prior to taking ownership in 2017. She wasn’t new to the industry and was seasoned for the traditional highs and lows of any business, but this was something she could have never anticipated.



“I was glad I was always of the mindset to plan for the worst even if you didn’t think that would actually happen,” she says. “Planning for a rainy day will forever be instilled in my practice.”


Patience, optimism, and empathy have been ingrained in Ashley since birth, so even on her most difficult days, she always tries to find the positive take away and silver lining. “I believe positivity produces positivity,” she adds.



During the shutdown, she rallied the team to keep in frequent contact and encouraged quality time with family members. She also met with fellow salon owners once a week via Zoom which facilitated purposeful talks to share their struggles and validate they were not alone.



One year later, Ashley is grateful for her loyal guests and ensures their ultimate safety. Her stylists have kept en vogue and are able to provide new techniques such as curtain bangs, as well as trending spa services such as microblading and permanent makeup.



Forever appreciating the time had during the lockdown with her partner Jason, his two children, her three siblings, their spouses, her niece and nephews, Ashley ensures they remain a top priority in her daily life.


-Kristen Kucharski, Photos by Mike Catuara


HEALTH + BEAUTY


NAPERVILLE


OSWEGO


DUPAGE




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