COLUMBIA, S.C. — The coronavirus has taken a toll on the financial health of barber shops and beauty establishments across the the country.
Christopher Javis is the owner of Kings and Queens Barber and Beauty shop in Columbia and, like many, his shop has been closed for nearly two months.
On Monday, that will change, as Governor Henry McMaster has lifted restrictions and is allowing barber shops, beauty, nail salons and other 'close contact' businesses to open.
"All services will be by appointment only. You must put on your mask, you must use hand sanitizer when entering," says Javis. "I’ve put up multiple hand sanitizing stations and all of them are automatic."
The barber shop will be broken into two shifts, one for morning customers and another for afternoon/evening customers with a break in between.
"From 12:30 to 1:30 we will be shut down. We want to do another deep clean in the middle of the day. We’re wiping down all of our stations, we’re constantly wiping down our chairs and we’re going to mop the entire area," says Javis. "When you sit with your barber now, you should be able to look to the right or the left and there should be an empty barber chair."
For customers who frequent the establishment, the outside appearance of the shop will stay the same but the inside configuration of the lobby will change. "We will not have a waiting area," says Javis, "There will be three chairs in each area and those three chairs are not for the clients, they're for clients who might have children receiving service."
Javis says he is happy they will be able to reopen, but he says his first priority, no matter what, is safety.
"You got to think about the public. You know, I’m a business owner, and I take pride in being a business owner and take pride in taking care of those who work with me and those who come in my establishment," he said.