Jenes Carter and her 11-year-old daughter, Komaya, have been busy lately.
“We’re doing all kinds of stuff. Like, we’re cooking frickin’ doughnut holes out of ricotta cheese and making chili cheese omelets and random shenanigans,” Jenes explains. “We’ve been trying to stick to some kind of physical activity every day, we put on like hip-hop videos and dance for hours.”
They’ve also been getting wild on the social video app TikTok, she says, and setting their shenanigans to music.
Jenes and Komaya always spend a lot of time together. But Jenes had to temporarily shutter her nail shop in March to comply with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s emergency order forcing “non-essential businesses” to close in an effort to slow the COVID-19 outbreak.
All of a sudden, the mother-daughter team found themselves with a lot of free time.
“My daughter and I are already pretty connected on the daily. It’s mostly just me and her,” Jenes said. “She’ll come with me to the shop.”
Jenes just bought Beautiful Nails in Midtown Reno last September. It was the culmination of 10 years of hard work — and a decision her father, who died last year, strongly supported.
The business closure put a lot of people out of work overnight. As a result, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation saw 92,298 initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending March 21 — the highest number of claims in state history.
But the governor’s order has been hard on business owners like Jenes, too. “If there’s no butts in the seats, we’re not making anything,” she said.
But Jenes has also stopped charging rent for the two women who also work at Beautiful Nails. They’re both independent contractors who rent space there to work.
“I’ll take the hit if it means just being good to them,” she said. “They’re like my sisters, they’re like my family.”
She estimates Beautiful Nails can weather the storm, as long as the emergency closure doesn’t last more than two months.
“Right now, we’re just being optimistic,” Jenes said.
Luckily, Komaya’s routine hasn’t been affected too badly, because she was already enrolled in online classes. “We couldn’t have picked a better frickin’ year to do that!” Jenes said.
And since Komaya is about to become a teenager, Jenes sees the opportunity to spend extra quality time together as a blessing. “This is like the perfect time probably, while she’s getting into her transition, to talk with each other and understand each other more,” she said.
“There’ll be so much time to be social in the future. Why not get our little cocoon on and come out as some bomb butterflies?”
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