After being laid-off during pandemic, Tallahassee hairstylists open up new shop

Posted at 5:39 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 17:39:57-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Two local women are turning a challenge into an opportunity and rebounding from the pandemic one snip at a time.

After the pandemic turned their world upside down, but their new hair salon is putting a new "'do" on how business is done.

"We didn't expect what was going to happen at all," said Cynthia Ramos, barber and hairstylist. "We were kind of blindsided by it."

Ramos remembers the day the was laid off from a hair salon franchise like it was yesterday.

"We didn't know what we were going to do," Ramos said.

Keeping people looking fresh most of her life, the pandemic threatened that livelihood when the business shut down in March. So, she and her business partner decided to open their own shop.

"We came from a very busy shop, so this is different for us," said Ramos.

They named their shop Mankind.

"These are one of the things you miss when you don't have the services available," said John Hodge, a client who followed them.

Hodge is just one of many clients these two women had built a relationship with over the years.

"You can leave the troubles of the world outside and you just come in and it's like seeing an old friend," Hodge said.

Social distancing at Mankind is easy because they have two floors. They serve one client at a time upstairs and one client at a time downstairs.

"I think people in Tallahassee are working hard to get some normalcy," said Hodge.

Ramos meets the challenge of that new normal head-on with that social distancing, a face mask requirement, and constant cleaning, turning a dead-end into endless possibilities.

"I wish I would've done it sooner," Ramos said.

They were laid off in March, but able to open their new space on May 11, just in time to clean up dozens of quarantine cuts after the salon shut down in the spring.

They only have a max of four people in the building at a time.