AUSTIN (KXAN) — While many businesses are failing after being closed for a significant part of last year, a Texas hairstylist has found a new way to stay afloat.
Business owner Steven Todd has been refreshing people’s looks for 32 years. When the pandemic hit, his hair salon had to shutdown for nine weeks. He was forced to lay off 10 stylists working and renting from his brick and mortar storefront.
“To look on the bright side of what COVID has done for not just me, but everyone, it’s made us look at how we do things, and how we can do things better and more efficiently,” said Todd.
Todd and his two sons retrofitted an old airport shuttle bus and turned it into a mobile salon.
“It still has the seats in it,” said Todd. “We gutted it and started from the floor up.”
It’s now his own creative masterpiece.
“One thing I like best about the bus is the intimacy; it’s just me and my client,” said Todd.
When he’s not operating out of the Shamrock gas station parking lot, he’s off to mobile house calls.
“I think this could be the future of the hair industry,” said Todd. “I think more of this could happen.”
A bill Texas lawmakers passed in 2019 allows certain barbering and cosmetology services to be performed by someone who is licensed remotely, instead of at a licensed hair salon or barber shop.
This may be why the number of salon licenses in Texas has actually increased during the pandemic from just over 48,000 to almost 50,000 last month.