Holland salon owner flouts order, reopens

Coronavirus

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A Holland salon reopened Friday, defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order that shuttered a slew of businesses in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

At Ardor+Grit Salon and Lounge, Sarah Huff’s phone kept ringing.

“I’m getting calls from Plymouth, Newaygo, someone from Georgia,” she listed, saying she’s booked with clients who want to get their hair done.

A woman holds a protest sign as Ardor+Grit reopens. (May 15, 2020)

Huff knows she’s violating the governor’s order, but said she couldn’t wait any longer to reopen without jeopardizing her business.

“I have a roof over my head to keep, I have employees to keep,” Huff said. “I have food to put on my table and I honestly want to get back to work.”

A crowd gathered to support her as her doors reopened, including some from the Barry County-based Michigan Liberty Militia who were armed.

“We made the promise that any business that was going to open, we would give the backup and stand by them,” member Audra Johnson said.

A few weeks ago in Lansing, armed MLM members entered the state Capitol during a protest of the governor’s orders, which they say infringe upon citizens’ rights.

“The governor should not have an order to tell you (that) you cannot work,” another armed protester, Kyle Broekhuis, said. “It’s our right to our livelihoods.”

Huff said she expected to get a cease-and-desist order soon. She’s worried about losing her state license — a barber in mid-Michigan had his suspended after he reopened — but said she’s willing to take the risk.

“We need to open up,” she said.

She said she’s allowing only two other people inside her shop at any given time, including her assistant. Everyone is being required to wear masks.

The executive order for barbers and salons to remain closed currently runs through May 28.

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