Recent episodes of Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta showed exactly how production was suddenly halted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Like many Americans, the reality stars were left in shock as their lives were completely altered by the threat of the deadly virus.
Cast member Sierra Gates was not only financially impacted by the halt of production, but she also suffered a monetary blow when her brick-and-mortar business, The Glam Shop, closed down in an effort to responsibly help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“I make most of my money through my microblading tours, and with everything that’s been going on, I’ve had to cancel a lot of them,” the businesswoman tells BET Digital exclusively. “My microblading tour has slowed down, but I have really been focused on helping women start their own businesses during this pandemic through my platform, webinars, and my latest e-book, How to Make a Million, Maintain a Million.”
In addition to using her ingenuity to keep the checks rolling in, the 30-year-old mother of two is using her previous experience of rebuilding her bank account to teach women of color how to earn some cash during the crisis.
“I’ve been able to continue to make money and teach others how to do the same,” she shares with us. “In my e-book, I talk about when I made one million dollars by the age of 27. Unfortunately, I was just spending my money recklessly, not having a care in the world because I thought that I was rich. So by the end of the year that I made my first million dollars, I was broke.”
Sierra reveals that she was terrified of how her future would be after spending her first million. On her mission, the LHHATL star promised herself and her young children that she would never be broke again. “That next year I had a plan, and I promised myself that I’d make my million back and never lose it again,” she says.
From her experience, she created her webinar 30K in 30 Days, which teaches people how to make their own money and maintain it.
While the government is offering stimulus checks to help those who have lost their income as a result of the crisis, Sierra suggests that you do yourself a favor and save your coins.
“I have friends who are in the house bored and spending money shopping online,” she admits. “This is not the time to spend money! Now is the time to come up with a plan. I think it’s crucial to plan your days, create a daily schedule, and stick with it. Lastly, pray because with everything going on right now, you are going to need God by your side.”
Despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp lifted the quarantine on May 1, opening several types of businesses to the public, including beauty salons.
While many business owners were more than ecstatic to get back work, Sierra feels that it is just too soon. “I am not planning to open The Glam Shop right now; it is just not safe,” she explains. “There still isn’t even a vaccine or a way to prevent this. It is most important to prioritize our safety.”
For those considering reopening, the beauty mogul advises business owners to take the proper precautions needed to keep clients and employees safe, which includes a serious cleaning regimen. “Please make sure you have plenty of sanitation supplies on deck—Lysol, disinfectant wipes, Clorox, masks, and gloves for your staff and clients,” she urges. “We all must take sanitation seriously — no shortcuts.”
As for her loyal Glam Shop clients in need of a post-quarantine makeover, Sierra insists she's still connected to her clientele. In fact, she chats with them via social media often to help them maintain their beauty.
“I’ve been telling my clients to make sure that they keep their skin moisturized and maintain a beauty schedule,” she says. “It is important to set a time specifically to focus on your self-care, whether it’s giving yourself a facial, grooming your eyebrows, or giving yourself a manicure with some cute nail art.”
While Sierra continues to keep her business closed and shelter in place, she appreciates the extra time that she spends with her family. “To be honest with you, we’ve been eating!” she laughs. “We’ve been playing family games, doing tons of TikTok videos, and watching informative movies. Some are actually very related to what’s going on right now. I have also been teaching my kids about the history of COVID-19, as well.”
Overall, Sierra and her family are doing their best to cope with the new normal and they’re thankful for their safety and health. “We are all doing well, and are so blessed and grateful. Every day is to be cherished, and we definitely count our blessings.”
(Photo: Hassan Richard of Rari Filmz)