MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) – The owner of Giovanni’s Barber Shop in Media, Delaware County is defying the governor’s shutdown orders. The business reopened at 9 a.m. Wednesday and owner Nichole Missino says she’s gone to “great lengths” to keep people safe.
Partitions are up between the stations and UV lights are in drawers to help with sanitation.
Staff members are wearing masks and have face shields and they are changing aprons between each client.
Customers are also having their temperature taken before coming in and they are getting a clean cape. The waiting room is also closed.
“I have staff members, they need to eat, they need to pay their bills, bills keep piling up,” Missino said. “You know, my bills keep piling up. I’m still paying all the bills for this building. I’m still paying all my bills at my house. My savings, that I’ve been saving for years, is dwindling away. I feel like I can control the environment in here and they can’t control the environment in Walmart, so what’s the difference?”
Since her shop was forced to close over two months ago, she’s been transforming it to comply with social distancing standards.
In search of a haircut, some traveled more than a dozen miles to get their hair cut. Some customers were pretty desperate.
“I don’t want the grays show,” one man said.
“This is all a bunch of BS, all these closures, it’s been done politically,” said Arlene Contino of Morton. “These people have the guts here to do what they’re doing and everybody should open at once.”
Missino originally planned to reopen nearly two weeks ago but decided against it when the state board threatened to take away her license.
Now, the place is buzzing.
“Gov. Wolf hasn’t really given us a date and he’s not really telling us anything and I feel like he’s being extra hard on barbershops and salons,” Missino said.
Local officials in Media have declined to do anything about the opening, leaving it instead to the governor’s office.
“If you don’t want to work, then stay home,” Missino said. “I’m not forcing anyone to be here, I’m not forcing anyone to come in to get a haircut.”
Gov. Tom Wolf has said that businesses that reopen before orders are lifted are engaging in a “cowardly act” and he says they could lose their license.
CBS3’s Joe Holden contributed to this report.