A salon in Dallas, Texas, is preparing to re-open in defiance of state lockdown orders, with the owner citing her “consitutional right” to survive and provide for her family as the only authorization she needs.
Shelley Luther risks a fine or jail time as she welcomes tenants and clients back to Salon a La Mode starting Friday.
“We have the constitutional right to be able to work to provide for our families, to be able to eat, to pay our mortgages, and I just don’t feel that it’s right to close us down for this long of a period,” Luther told NBC5.
“I feel like if someone doesn’t step up and say ‘this isn’t right, we have to feed our families,’ I don’t know when change is going to come.”
Luther says she hasn’t been charging the 19 tenants who lease work space in her salon, but is still on the hook for her own rent for the facility.
Luther has three jobs, but has been unable to work for weeks and has applied for unemployment and SBA loans without success.
“We have some ladies that have been getting their hair done by these hairstylists for over 30 years. It’s a big deal for them to look nice and look presentable,” Luther said.
“It’s got to be very, very depressing for them to not be able to get out of the house at all when they’re feeling ok. They’re not sick. They just want to look nice.”
Luther says she has implemented a series of preventative protocols, including keeping work spaces six feet apart, requesting clients wait in their cars until their appointments, and requiring various hygenic practices to be followed by stylists and clients, including wearing masks at all times.
“I don’t want anyone to get hurt or anyone to get sick. I feel like if people want to stay home, they can stay home. If they need government assistance, I’m all for that,” Luther said.
“No one is forcing my tenants, no one is forcing any clients to come in here if they don’t want to. It is their personal choice as an American to come into the salon if they want to, and they have that right.”
Luther could be slapped with a large fine or jail time if she is investigated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Watch highlights from the ‘You Can’t Close America Down’ rally in Austin, Texas.
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst