HOUSTON - For some, the last couple of months without hair stylists or a barber has been torture, perhaps even more-so for shop owners.
However, after getting approval from Governor Greg Abbott salons and barbershops reopened today across Texas. For many, this day didn’t come fast enough.
Imagine this, working in the beauty industry for 27 years, finally opening your own salon and days after your one-year anniversary COVID-19 forces your doors closed. That’s the case for Ooh La La Salon owner Michelle Thomas.
After being shut down since March Thomas is grateful to be open again. “We’re taking everybody’s temperature as they come in," Thomas said.
Clients and stylists are also wearing masks and stations are sanitized between every customer. Things are being done differently since closing due to COVID-19 but Thomas is thankful to be back in business. The time spent closed wasn’t easy.
"Once I got all the girls on unemployment and got them set up. I then started worrying about the salon. We’re about three months behind on the rent," Thomas said.
Five employees have chosen not to come back to work yet.
Customers couldn’t be happier to have the hair salon open again. "I’m so grateful. My hair was getting really long and I just needed something done to it,” smiles Isabel Lytle as she sat in the stylist’s chair getting her hair colored and styled.
"We have a waitlist that’s probably two pages long. The phones are blowing up and people are really wanting to come in and get these services and get back to normal,” Thomas explains.
That’s a problem she's happy to have since Novel Coronavirus closed the doors to her salon just after celebrating her one year anniversary of being in business. “It’s just been a rollercoaster. Who would have thought we would have to close because of a virus and have nine employees on unemployment," Thomas said.
Thomas says it’s heartwarming how so many are making a conscious effort to support local businesses. "Individuals we don’t even know coming in wanting to get services from us, buying gift certificates if they don’t feel comfortable coming in yet," Thomas said. "It’s been a lot but everything happens for a reason and God has my back".
Ooh La La in the Atascocita area is working under extended operating hours right now, staying open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.