ENCINITAS — After weeks of coronavirus business closures, the #WeWant2Work movement in Leucadia is taking off, spurred by salon owners holding disinfection and sanitation licenses and seeking to reopen with proper social distancing procedures.
The community-based movement, featuring painted windows with the slogan, “We Want 2 Work,” was born from a conversation between friends Tawnya Proctor, co-owner of Noni Salon, and Dawn Nichols, owner of Remedy Beauty Lounge.
“We hold a license in disinfection and sanitation, already following strict guidelines for our clients’ health and safety,” Proctor said. “Why shouldn’t we be allowed to open if we follow those guidelines on top of any new [COVID] protocols?”
We want to be safe and smart,” Proctor said. “We want to protect ourselves and anyone else that comes into the salon. This is a more controlled environment than a restaurant or retail business because we have scheduled appointments and can plan for the number of people who come into the salon.”
Currently, hair salons and tattoo parlors are defined as Phase 3 industries by the state of California. However, these types of businesses are expected to remain closed until August, while other Phase 2 businesses such as retail shops and restaurants will slowly open in the upcoming months.
“We’ve been working alongside salons in our area as well as restaurants and other Leucadia businesses,” said Proctor. “I’ve been standing outside my salon a few days each week, saying hello to passerby’s and asking if those interested in supporting Leucadia businesses could write to their government officials.”
So far, Proctor has made hats, banners, in addition to painting other shop’s windows and spreading the word.
With San Diego County’s announcement May 5, establishing a framework for reopening local businesses and requesting total autonomy from the State in regards to timelines and decision making, Proctor sees a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I am so happy our county is taking steps forward and saying, no, as a county we want to make those decisions for our own community,” Proctor said. “This feels like a win and I know with that push, it’s only going to get us Phase 3 businesses open sooner.”
However, until the state initiates Phase 3, Proctor will continue supporting Leucadia businesses the best way she knows how. Noni Salon’s windows will read, #wewant2work and their community will stick together, Proctor said.
Caitlin Steinberg is a Leucadia resident who is covering all things Encinitas for The Coast News.
She is also a fine art photographer, as well as a military historian and CEO of Operation Green Faces, a 501(c)3 nonprofit preserving the oral histories of UDT & SEAL Team operators in the Vietnam War.