In the show, J. Mačiulienė reveals the current mood of the beauty services sector.
“This question is probably very relevant for everyone, not only for the representatives of the beauty services sector, but probably for all the working people of Lithuania who work with individual activities. I think that we are not an exception, because, in fact, the post-pandemic time did not bring anything good.
It seems to everyone, for some reason, that a beauty specialist is a bag of money who very easily gets that money and can simply very easily pay it back to the state budget after raising taxes. But no one asks the Lithuanian beauty specialist how he lives at the moment and how he maintains his business”, says the woman.
“We have discussed this issue more than once in front of all the people gathered at the Council of Small and Medium Businesses, and there were many representatives from other associations. You know, the picture being painted for us is already so beautiful. It is explained that everything is very good here, but, in fact, it is not. We probably save ourselves, we entertain ourselves, we try to survive somehow, the way we survived during those pandemic years.
And, of course, for us, people who have gone into the shadows – these are not competitors. But the fact is that this is a very big incentive for people, at the moment, if taxes continue to increase, and they really, I have no doubt, have already started to increase, some will leave where many people say: why do I have to pay taxes? I manage well at home, I have set up my workplace and I am not responsible for anything here to anyone”, explains J. Mačiulienė.
After the pandemic, we all missed beauty services and rushed to specialists. What is the situation in the sector now? Has the number of customers increased?
“I just want to make it very clear once, perhaps, that the beauty service is provided when there is a customer. It’s not manufacturing, it’s not a process where you stand at some kind of machine or conveyor belt and bake those root dyes and all that. It’s just that, probably, price policy and this economic crisis still influence it, and of course, all of this is reflected in our work. No one says that there are no customers, but no one says that there is an excess of them either,” explains the president of the Association of Lithuanian Hairdressers and Beauty Specialists.
“Look at how many beauty salons, barbershops, hairdressing salons and all kinds of illegal beauty centers and so on there are. We don’t have that many residents in Lithuania anymore. We will probably have one beauty salon or hair salon for each customer very soon.
That mass roasting of those hairdressers and beauty salons is also not a normal competitive policy, because compared to Italy, we are in the lead here, probably ten times over. In Italy, permits for setting up a beauty salon or hair salon are issued based on population density,” she shares.
“Lithuania is really an extremely nice and great country, but it has its own unique laws and those permits to work whoever wants, what they want, where they want and when they want”, says J. Mačiulienė.
Over the past year, we’ve watched many products and services become more expensive. How much have services in the field of beauty become more expensive this year?
“I have always said that the services will not be expensive and, perhaps, I should admit that they were forcibly raised because a person cannot work in the red, he must support his family, he must pay taxes. Probably, we all know very well, in our country, if you don’t pay your taxes, you immediately receive a notification from Sodra, from the Ministry of Finance and so on, that you owe money and so on,” J. Mačiulienė comments on the situation.
According to her, the price of services really happened. If before the pandemic, a haircut could cost up to 30 euros, now the price can already reach 40 euros. However, J. Mačiulienė emphasizes that there is also a ceiling for raising prices.
“We all understand very well – if we raise prices, we lose some customers, because customers really have somewhere to put their money at the moment. I think that this summer period perfectly shows everyone that people are tired of this intense winter, when electricity and gas prices were changing. It’s really not for anyone’s benefit and everyone is already tired. You know, sometimes he just doesn’t look anymore, he doesn’t pay attention to his beauty anymore, he just spits on everything and goes on vacation,” she says.
“The shrinking of people is certainly felt, and prices have risen somewhat. Unequivocally, I could probably say that they didn’t go up very much, but that they went up by 10-15 percent, that’s for sure. We all have responsibilities, we all have obligations, and we try to adapt to that dictated market policy, because, after all, the products we work with – everything has become more expensive, certainly not by 10, not by 15 percent,” the woman explains.
“Let’s put everything in one common cauldron: all the taxes, all the price increases of the government and all the sayings that somehow maybe we can tighten our belts. Well, where to rush? We won’t have anything to push for soon. It’s just sometimes strange that these small, small, individual, medium-sized entrepreneurs who are still trying to save themselves, dig themselves out – they are simply left to the will of fate”, she does not hide her disappointment.
“I really liked Valujavic’s last meters when he was swimming to the shore and he was just being pushed back by that wave. Sometimes we feel that way too. We break down, break down, as if this is already some kind of agreement, some kind of relief, and again we return to the same point from which we started swimming. It is this thing that is happening right now with implied and expected liftings, cancellations, all prohibitions, all obligations – we have so many “impossible”, “necessary”, but no one asks, and how do you live?”, says J. stepmother
“Undoubtedly, we are very active and we have always gone to dialogues, and we will go, we will look for all kinds of solutions, but we would really not like that noose around our neck to be pulled too hard,” says the interviewer.
According to her, the situation is heating up a little and it can provoke big bankruptcies, people leaving their jobs and going into the shadows. What salary changes are being talked about in the beauty sector if plans to raise taxes are implemented?
According to J. Mačiulienė, it is difficult to talk about salary changes, because in Lithuania, beauty specialists with business licenses decide the prices of their services themselves.
“This is not some set salary system. In Lithuania, the business license policy was blessed by the government itself and allowed to work, so, probably, everyone who individually purchased a business license understands how much he can earn and how much he earns,” she says.
“We tried to calculate here, if a person collects 3,000 euros per month, then from those 3,000 euros he takes into account rent of a workplace, Sodra, personal income tax, materials, services and he says: if I have 1,000 euros left, then I am very happy, that’s all very well with me”, explains J. Mačiulienė.
“1,000 euros is quite a decent salary for us today. I’m not saying, maybe there are people who earn 10,000 in this field, because there is no uniform calculation in this place, unfortunately, because we don’t have a mandatory employment contract regulation, that you must all get a job, and here is the calculation, now you will receive salaries, let’s say, from such and such a percentage amount. Everyone earns their salary individually and calculates their income and expenses individually,” she says.
“It is impossible to attract us to the big production factories, factories, because we earn our own salary. There are customers – we have a salary. There are no customers – you probably understand very well, you still have to pay for everything. Yes, as it was during the pandemic. Someone received benefits to be able to buy yachts, while someone barely made ends meet.
It cannot be a sign of equality in this place, and if it seems to our authorities and the Government that small and medium-sized businesses do not contribute anything to the state, then I would like to ask, how do they survive by collecting such millions? So we are useful. Maybe then, gentlemen, dear people of our government, stop suffocating those simple, little people who work, support their families and don’t go into the shadows?”, says J. Mačiulienė.
Tags: representative hairdressers beauty specialists price increases fully understand losing customers