Clip Joint, the oldest barber shop in Whitefish is open after being closed for five weeks due to the coronavirus.
Owner and operator Brittney Smith told MTN that Clip Joint actually closed a week before the shut down order went into effect just to keep their clients safe.
"When Whitefish really starting shutting down it definitely scary," said Smith. We have a lot of older clients as well, I have immune compromised clients as well. So, I was worried as a business owner. Not, just financially but also about our clients."
When coronavirus hit, she told MTN she was forced to close for five weeks to keep herself, her employees and clients safe.
Closing near the peak of her business, Smith says herself and some employees had to file for unemployment, but her business still suffered.
"We're approaching spring and summer which becomes our busiest time of the year," said Smith. "And that's the time where we really bank on working hard, having tourists here. So, we all lost quite a bit."
Now, that they've re opened Smith explained to MTN that she's seen an array of home haircut attempts.
"There are a lot of wife haircut fixings, YouTube tutorial haircut fixing, bowl cuts, mullets. Self haircuts," she laughed. "So, I think people realized how much they appreciated us."
Smith explained to MTN that the shop is taking all the appropriate safety pre cautions, but says cutting hair in a pandemic presents its challenges.
"We distance our chairs six feet apart," said Smith. "We're only having under a certain number so we can keep everyone six feet. But, when you're cutting hair we can't be six feet if you wanted to. And also too with the straps around the ears, that's hard as well. So, people hold the mask to their face and we try and work around it."
Appointments are walk-in only and she explained to MTN that the shop started a new system during the virus, decreasing the number of people inside.
"We have a dry erase board and when people come in, they write their name and phone number down and then they can leave," she explained. "That way, we can keep a certain number of people down to a limit at the shop."
Smith is hopeful tourist season will pick up and benefit the shop this year.
She explained to MTN that she's very sensitive to clients who are nervous or immune compromised and is offering times for haircuts before the shop opens to cut hair one on one.
The Clip Joint is open Tuesday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.