MAGNOLIA, Texas - Just a few hours before Governor Greg Abbott lifted his restrictions on hairdressing and barber shops, a rebellion was busting loose on Farm to Market Road 1488 on the Southern end of Montgomery County.
Tune Up, The Manly Salon, took a stand, opening its doors in defiance of the Governor’s orders.
CEO Anthony Milton says was the decision was no longer about choice, but about financial survival.
“To have the opportunity to fight for our share of the business and not go bankrupt. To have the opportunity to take care of our customers, employees, our staff and, unfortunately, we can’t do that and we can’t hold out much longer,” said Milton.
Tune-up’s first two customers were State Representatives Steve Toth and Briscoe Cain, both willing to risk arrest in support of small business people on the brink of economic ruin.
“There are thousands and thousands of other businesses across the state of Texas that are being put out of business as a result of this. These aren’t owned by millionaires. These are owned by people who have mortgaged their homes to get them started,” said Toth.
“Hairstylists and the cosmetology industry don’t have a lot of lobbyists in the Capitol advocating for them whereas maybe the big box stores and large restaurant chains do and sadly they were overlooked when this should have been an industry that was opened first, because of how regulated they are and the health standards they have to comply with,” said Cain.
Cain and Toth’s challenge of Governor Abbott’s mandate drew both support and heaps of scorn on Twitter.
Julie Hinaman wrote “I feel sorry for their constituents. Their State Reps have no respect for the Governor’s orders and feel the rules don’t apply to them.”
And Rosyn Metchis wrote “both [Representatives] feel compelled to put the hairdresser’s life in danger.”
Tune-up’s leadership says they’ll gladly weather any condemnation to keep the business alive and their workers on the payroll.
“When we are unfairly selected to sit on the sidelines, I think it’s our responsibility to stand up and be heard, said Ryan Logan with Tune Up, The Manly Salon.
Despite multiple alerts, local law enforcement in Montgomery County did not respond to the opening, and aren’t likely to, given Governor Abbott’s mid-afternoon announcement freeing barbers, stylists and salons to re-open Friday, legally.