Daya Nail is a small nail salon located in the heart of Wisconsin. Daya Nail often welcomes 30-40 customers each day. With 10 shift-based staff who constantly swap and change shifts, the salon struggled to keep track of the available employees for each shift, as well as the total work hour of each staff. After using Camelo, Mrs. Dayana Nguyen, the owner, confirmed that she now has more time for herself and her family instead of spending them on scheduling and managing work hours.
Dayana Nguyen has been in the nail industry for 10 years. When she first came to the US, she worked at a small nail salon, just like most of her Vietnamese friends. That salon was where she learned manicure and pedicure.
"The owner gave me a job, but never cared for my well-being. We worked in a small room, breathed in harmful chemicals, and always worked overtime. It was fine because earning lots of money was what I wanted," Dayana shares.
She continues, "I dreamed of opening my own salon. I dreamed of running a place that cares for the well-being of staff while giving customers the beauty they want. I worked day and night and even different jobs to earn money."
With the help of her uncle and the money Dayana saved, Daya Nail was opened.
"My staff includes women of color and of poverty, and the co-workers from my previous jobs. I taught them everything I knew about nails. Many of them were middle-aged and low-tech. Because they couldn't communicate well in English, they were fooled and used by crafty employers," says Dayana.
It was difficult at first. There were days when 0 customer walked in. Dayana and her staff tried to introduce the salon to all acquaintances and friends, hoping it would spread the world. They started seeing more and more customers entering their doors.
"I didn't know how. All I cared about was to serve anyone coming in with a friendly and caring attitude," Dayana says. "Finally, there were days when we served up to 50-60 customers. It was huge to me, to us."
Dayana often planned the weekly work schedule ahead in her big notebook. "I wrote down shifts and names, stroke through when there were changes. Then I copied the schedule to another piece of paper and stuck it on the salon wall every weekend," says Dayana.
Her staff would then take photos of the schedule. Some jotted down their shifts in their own notebooks. The schedule changed every week, so she had to repeat the process weekly.
It was fine for Dayana until busy months came. Customers flooded in, while her staff started to ask for shift swaps and time off. She had to manage everything at the salon, from working with her staff, maintaining tools, and product restocking to handling customers' complaints and questions.
Keeping track of staff's shifts, hours and time off started to take too much time for Dayana. "I didn't want my staff to exhaust themselves out by working overtime, but I myself worked overtime almost every day to keep the business running," Dayana shares. Hiring someone to help could be easier, but she didn't have enough budget for it.
"I was stressed, exhausted, and frustrated. I became the irritated boss, mom and wife," she says.
"My son saw me struggling, and he told me about something called "scheduling app", or "employee management software" that he found online. I wasn't very fond of technology, but I thought, "Heck, why not?"," Dayana laughs.
With the help of her son, they browsed through different websites, product lists, and reviews to find an option for their needs and budget. "Then we found Camelo. It seemed to have all the features we needed, so we decided to give it a try," she smiles.
She slowly learned to assign shifts and tasks on her phone. It was easier than she thought. It took a bit of time to set things up at first. "Once everything is in place, I just need 15-20 minutes every week to do scheduling, task management, and time off approvals. The process used to take me 2 hours every week," says she.
The owner even shows her staff how to use the app. "They can quickly understand the features and remember what buttons to touch," says Dayana. She loves the simplicity and "intuitivity" of Camelo.
"I don't have to write and copy things manually anymore. My staff can access their schedules and task lists on their phones, which is quick and convenient."
"I feel like the whole journey of opening and managing my own salon is so short when putting into words," says Dayana. But it's a long process with lots of trials and errors.
"I'm happy that I've found the right people, tools, and resources to run my dream business"
When everything is managed properly, Dayana has more time for herself and her family. "I'm happier than ever," she laughs.
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