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As salons prepare to reopen, some go above and beyond to be safe

Many salons began preparing weeks ago to open on time.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Starting Monday, hair salons, barbershops and nail salons across most of Florida can begin reopening with some restrictions.

If you’ve been waiting to get your haircut, you can’t just walk in to your go-to spot. All customers need to make appointments, salons must space them out by at least 15 minutes and no group appointments are permitted.

Additionally, all employees must wear masks.

Salons have been hard at work in our area, getting ready for the big day.

RELATED: St. Petersburg mayor on opening salons, barbershops: Go for it, but be safe

RELATED: Florida barbershops, nail and hair salons to reopen on May 11

“It is hard to prepare in two days. Especially because if you are looking for supplies, if you’re looking for any sanitary supplies, everyone knows, they’re out. So if you aren’t doing this, two, three, four weeks ago, you probably are going to have a problem to reopen as quickly," said Jossielyn Gonzalez, the owner of 847 Nails in New Port Richey. 

“We just re-upped on all of our sanitary supplies that we always have to carry as a nail salon.”

Some barbershops are having to change the fundamental way they do business.

“This one is a high walk in [business]," said barber at Millennium Barber Shop, Lava Handz. "That’s why we encourage everyone that’s been to Millennium Barber Shop to please come check us out. Again, come give us a call in advance and schedule a time so we can be on time with everyone and keep everyone safe.”

Some salon owners have already invested in additional safety supplies.

Gonzalez bought multiple acrylic shields after seeing entrepreneur Lauren Atwaters post about them on Facebook. 

“(I) reached out to her and decided to purchase a couple of shields so that we could get to work as soon as possible,” she said.

Atwaters owns three businesses in the Tampa Bay area, and all three are within the events industry.

“Pivots are beautiful things sometimes when you’re forced into a pivot," Atwaters said. 

With more time, she started making and donating supplies to health care workers. But then she had to start making money again. On April 20, she started selling the acrylic shields.

“When they announced that Atlanta was going to open back up, I had a lot of inquiries that went straight there," Atwaters said.

She has sold more than 200 shields and has more inquiries from across the Tampa Bay area.

“My target is helping a small business. And I know that you’ve just been shut down for two months. So as much as I would like to charge the $150, $160 that most of my, you know other people are selling them for. I am trying to keep mine under $90, with delivery in most cases, because I know that they are struggling just as much as I am," Atwaters said.

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