While officials in South Dakota or the City of Sioux Falls have not yet mandated salons to close, some large local owners say they will be closing their doors after the weekend.
“Gonna try to keep smiling, that’s the biggest thing, got to keep everybody uplifted,” Studio 26 Hair Stylist Ethan Roepke said.
Roepke is working to keep a positive outlook in his last few days on the job.
“It’s a sad time but we’ve got to keep everybody happy and lift their spirits,” Ethan Roepke
But he and his clients are worried about how long it might be before they meet again.
“I told him to cut it short because it could be a little bit,” Studio 26 client Lori Horstman said.
While the temporary closure could mean some dark roots and split ends for clients, the consequences of closing are far more serious for Roepke and his coworkers.
“This is kind of my livelihood,” Roepke said. “I actually own a farm south of Canton so it’s kind of scary right now. I’ve got other mouths to feed, not just a couple of people, I’ve got a lot of animals,” Roepke said.
“It was the hardest decision in 20 years of business that my wife and I have had to make,” Salon owner Jeff From said.
Salon Owner Jeff From decided Saturday will be the last day of business at all four of his Sioux Falls salons, leaving nearly 120 people without a job.
“Everybody is afraid, how am I going to pay my bills, how are we going to get through this, people are scared, people are nervous, but what we want to do is everything we can to protect and not spread the disease. We know if we work together, we’re going to get through this. It’s not going to be easy, everybody’s got a burden to share, it’s not easy for anyone, everybody is affected,” From said.
From along with Hollywood Style Salon owner Trish Bates are some of the first in the city to announce they’re voluntarily closing their doors.
“We’ve all been stepping back waiting for someone to make that decision for us. Now we’re being the leaders in the industry and saying this is the right thing to do,” Bates said.
While they expect some salons in town to follow suit, they say until there are actual mandates on what to do, the decision to stay open or close is something everyone is struggling with right now.
“I will respect any decision that other salons make and I hope others do too,” From said. “That’s the one thing that I worry about the most, is how people treat others, especially in this time.”
From and Bates say their stylists are working to accommodate as many clients as possible through Saturday, but after that, their doors will be closed for at least two weeks.