How SCORE helped. 

SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon salutes these small business owners who are handed lemons by the COVID-19 crisis and turn them into lemonade.

Darcy Taylor was faced with an unimaginable situation in the spring of 2020 when the COIVD-19 epidemic forced the closure of Salon Enso and the lay-off of her entire staff of beloved team members. Like most small business owners, she had no tools or protocols in place to prepare for the results of a global pandemic that crushed the local economy almost overnight. It would have been easy to succumb to despair or simply freeze in the moment of an overwhelming shock, but that has never been Darcy Taylor's style, and failure was never an option that she allowed a seat at her table.

A Strong Client-Mentor Bond in Times of Crisis

Salon Enso has been a SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon client since the spring of 2017 and has developed a strong bond with her volunteer mentor, Eric Parker. She reached out to him as she began to navigate the often complicated realm of resources and regulations that now guided her small business.

"Nothing about this experience has been easy or clear for anyone. Comfort came knowing I had a team of business advisors with SCORE. Experience with the loan application, managing staff remotely, understanding new guidelines, and the organization of priorities. Eric Parker was there to help or direct me to others in areas if he knew someone better qualified."

- Darcy Taylor, owner of Salon Enso

Darcy was successful in applying for CARES stimulus funding with the help of her SCORE mentor. She did that as she built a routine that transferred her Salon Enso work to a new location – her home.

Adjusting To This New Normal

"This was new to me. Week one, I scrambled to relocate my salon office to a home office. I did choose to occupy a private room in my house where I could shut a door as I have an enthusiastic seven-year-old. I found it helpful for my whole family to keep the same routine of Monday through Friday 9 to 5. This set the expectation for myself and my family that this event was not going to consume our lives. This is not to say there were no late nights after my son went to bed or extreme emotion that surrounded this time. It just gave us a boundary to reset when it became genuinely hard."

Darcy Taylor, owner of Salon Enso

The next priority for Darcy was finding a way to effectively communicate with and support her Salon Enso team, who she regards as key to any past success her business has experienced and vital to the future. Darcy also sees these team members as valued members of an extended family and had real concerns about their welfare during the pandemic and events that coincided.

"Around week 3, when I realized this was going to be a lengthy pause in business, I began hosting weekly Zoom gatherings with our team. It allowed us to stay connected and for me to be open and transparent with the progress that was happening with the virus, the business, and then later, the Black Lives Matter movement. I shared it all. It was emotional at times, but I felt the team needed to know the realities of this new normal. We need to all do our part to come out on the other side, strong and able to move forward. Our industry, like so many others, will look different for the coming months, possibly years. We will strive to offer the same warm & professional  experience, whatever the 'new normal' presents for Salon Enso."

Darcy Taylor, owner of Salon Enso

Setting Boundaries and Finding Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance has not been easy for any small business owner during this crisis and addressing the need for staying healthy and setting work boundaries has been a key to Darcy's success in her pivot during this crisis.

"This experience has reminded me that everything is a cycle. We start in emotion, and once you can recognize the cause of that emotion, you can progress to education. Educating yourself and allowing time to process the information, you can move into action. Action is the reward where you see the tangible assets of all the hard work. The caveat I have been shown over and over during this time is that we inevitably end back in our emotions, and the process starts again. I believe balance lives in recognition of the process, and once that's achieved, you have more choice in your reaction."

- Darcy Taylor, owner of Salon Enso

Remaining Positive in A Community Crisis

A scroll through the Salon Enso social media will show a page that is consistently positive in their messaging on the COVID-19 epidemic. Darcy's social media' voice' is clear and unfailingly on-brand. It is not an easy feat to remain upbeat when you are facing weeks with your salon shuttered, but Darcy manages it beautifully. She attributes that to being part of something more substantial, a network of support that enabled her to navigate her way through even the darkest days.

"I had to choose to be positive. I will not claim I felt positive throughout this time. I recommend to every small business owner to find their village. This is a journey that is not meant to be traveled alone. My village has been my family, team, salon guests, SCORE, Lancaster Chamber, other salon owners from across the country, my dear friend Starla, another local business owner, TROUT my accounting firm and everyone who simply reached out to ask how I was. Surrendering complete control and refocusing on the things you can control is a constant practice."

Darcy Taylor, owner of Salon Enso








SCORE COVID-19 "Lemons to Lemonade"Story: Darcy Taylor