Terri Hoover, founder of clickit4life. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Terri Hoover has co-owned Artistik Edge Hair Studio with Rebecca Crosby for the past 31 years. Many neighbors know her for the work she’s done with the Clickit4life Foundation after losing her son Jake in a car accident. Billboards across Dallas-Fort Worth left a chilling message for young drivers. She’s won awards from the Lake Highlands Exchange Club for her work and stayed an active member of the community. Now, she has concerns for her small business. In particular, her 22 employees.

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How has your business model changed?

Our business is hands on so we are not able to practice our craft at all, and we’re very limited on what we can do moving forward.

What are some of your concerns?

Our biggest concern is not definable as one concern. It is our employees eating and paying bills but we as a small business still have to pay rent. All the weight seems to be sitting on the small business shoulders. We’ve got clients calling, texting, emailing and hunting our employees down on social media trying to get them to come to their homes to do hair. We have people calling for hair products of which we think are essential. We have $70,000 in retail merchandise sitting on the shelf collecting dust.

How are your 22 employees doing?

Our concern for employees is that they tend to make more money doing hair than they can on unemployment so with all the pressure of people asking them to do their hair at home they have to weigh out the money versus a virus they can’t see or understand. They miss their clients they miss their friends. They miss their socialization at work just like everybody else. Hairdressers are generally very social people.

How are you doing during this pandemic?

I personally am fine I have a child with down syndrome so we have to be very careful. My son Gage says every day I hate the virus. Me too, buddy. It’s going to be very crazy when we get back to work trying to continue to socially distance and yet get all the people in for hair appointments that are starting to look like Sasquatch or Frida Kahlo – us included.

What would you like readers to know?

I pray people remember how much they missed each other, missed seeing other people and being with other people when we get back to real life and are just kinder in general.

Why do you think small businesses are important to support during the pandemic?

I’ve heard tell that 90 something percent of businesses in America are small businesses. We don’t have huge bank accounts or CEOs taking home millions. Most of us are just down-home people trying to make a living, providing quality services and providing a good living for others that work with us. I understand that large corporations and businesses are very important also, they employ millions and provide great benefits. It’s important for small businesses to be supported because we’re the ones that support your kids’ basketball team, baseball team, drill team and donate to your silent auctions. We are the ones whose employees are kids in high school, or we’ve given them their first job right out of college. We create memories.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.