Barber, owner of Thig's Diamond Kutz in Hutto discusses why he is waiting to reopen his shop

William Thigpen said he will reopen his Hutto barber shop when he has all the required sanitation supplies on hand and a clear process developed to meet Gov. Greg Abbott's new rules in light of the coronavirus pandemic. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
William Thigpen said he will reopen his Hutto barber shop when he has all the required sanitation supplies on hand and a clear process developed to meet Gov. Greg Abbott's new rules in light of the coronavirus pandemic. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

William Thigpen said he will reopen his Hutto barber shop when he has all the required sanitation supplies on hand and a clear process developed to meet Gov. Greg Abbott's new rules in light of the coronavirus pandemic. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

On the afternoon of May 5, William Thigpen’s cellphone started buzzing. Texts and calls started pouring in following Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement that barber shops and salons could reopen May 8.

“Beard is looking shaggy. When are you going to reopen?” one of Thigpen’s clients posted on Facebook.

“My phone has been blowing up,” said Thigpen, the owner of Thig’s Diamond Kutz in downtown Hutto. “It’s been crazy.”

However, despite a high demand from clients, Thigpen said he will not reopen his barber shop May 8.

With only three days between the governor’s announcement—which included new rules such as a limit of one customer per stylist, using an appointment-only system, maintaining 6 feet of separation between stations, and ensuring both the stylist and customer wear face masks—Thigpen said he needed more time to prepare.


“I want to make sure that when we do open, we’re comfortable with opening,” Thigpen said. “That’s the key to it—every business should think about opening when they feel comfortable—when you’re able to make sure that you’re safe and the customer is safe and everything is in proper order.”

Part of the delay is due to slow supply lines, Thigpen said. He has ordered supplies such as gloves and masks, but these items have been delayed due to high demand and slow shipping times, he said. At this time, barring no further supply delays, Thigpen said he hopes to reopen May 12.

When Thigpen became a licensed barber over 20 years ago, he knew he was entering a profession where cleanliness was paramount, he said.

“Sanitation is the No. 1 priority in our industry,” Thigpen said. “You have to take that seriously and really have to be on top of your game in terms of sanitizing your tools—clippers, combs, sheers. We are adamant about that.”

Though he has been out of work for nearly two months, Thigpen said he is in no rush to reopen.

“I’m not really concerned with the money,” Thigpen said. “I’m concerned with safety. If you don’t properly prepare your business, you run a risk. Our strategy is to be prepared.”

Thig’s Diamond Kutz offers haircut options and styles for men, women and children, as well as beard trims, razor shaves and hair washes.

In accordance with Abbott’s rules, Thigpen said his clients should expect new procedures when the shop reopens. Customers will receive a contactless temperature check upon arrival. To avoid gatherings of people, the waiting area will not be in use at this time. While walk-ins will still be accepted, the walk-in customer will then make an appointment and return at that scheduled time. Barbers will wear disposable gloves and masks during each service.

“We want to ensure a free flow of traffic, no one really waiting in the shop,” Thigpen said. “It will be a contactless type of experience but still professional.”

Throughout the shop’s closure, Thigpen said he has enjoyed the opportunity to spend more time with his family.

“It’s been tough, but it was actually a blessing in a way, too,” Thigpen said. “As a barber, I spend a lot of time at the shop and not enough time at home. The blessing behind it was really getting into that role of home, being able to help my wife out, help my kids with their homework.”

He also pointed to the supportive community surrounding him through it all.

“The community that supports the shop stepped up a whole lot—some buying gift cards, some calling to check on me,” Thigpen said. “When times are tough, when bad things happen, you really know who is there for you.”
By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.


MOST RECENT

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County adds 47 new cases of the coronavirus Oct. 23

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Williamson County.

East West Manufacturing will retain 30 jobs and create an additional 30 new jobs for a total of 60 full-time jobs in Round Rock over five years, according to an economic incentive agreement signed Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock to add 60 jobs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Beginning Oct. 26, 14 Pflugerville ISD locations will be available for curbside meal pickup services. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Pflugerville ISD announces curbside meal pickup site changes

Beginning Oct. 26, 14 Pflugerville ISD locations will be available for curbside meal pickup services.

Round Rock ISD traditionally plans for four early release days at the end of each semester for its high school students. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
8 Round Rock ISD early release days converted into full instructional days

Round Rock ISD traditionally plans for four early release days at the end of each semester for its high school students.

Yonders Point, a plaza and a terraced seating area with outdoor swings and lounge chairs, will be constructed on a field southwest of the intersection of Harrell Parkway and Aten Loop. (Rendering courtesy city of Round Rock)
Plaza, terraced overlook among improvements planned for Old Settlers Park in Round Rock

Yonders Point will be constructed on a field near the intersection of Harrell Parkway and Aten Loop within Old Settlers Park.

A screen shot of Elon Musk speaking into a microphone
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms 2021 opening for Travis County gigafactory

Musk said construction is moving apace at the new electric auto factory east of Austin.

East West Manufacturing will retain 30 jobs and create an additional 30 new jobs for a total of 60 full-time jobs in Round Rock over five years, according to an economic incentive agreement signed Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
60 jobs, $5 million facility: East West Manufacturing coming to Round Rock

The 43,000-square-foot building is expected to be complete by August 2021.

Here are the latest coronavirus data updates for Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County add 26 confirmed cases of coronavirus Oct. 22

Here are the latest coronavirus data updates for Williamson County.

The bakery is known for its Texas Sized Donut weighing 2 pounds and can trace its history back to 1926 when Reinhold R. Moehring opened the shop in downtown Round Rock. (Community Impact file photo courtesy Round Rock Donuts)
Round Rock Donuts coming to Cedar Park and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Southern rock artist, Read Southall Band will join country group Pecos & The Rooftops at the Brushy Creek Amphitheater Oct. 24. (Courtesy city of Hutto)
Rock concerts to trunk or treats: 6 events in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Interested in learning more about Latin American ghosts, snagging some extra Halloween candy or rocking out to a southern rock concert? Check out six events in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto Oct. 24-Nov. 1.