DALLAS — For 15 years, all Nicole Johnson knew was her business, Hands of Glory Barbershop and Salon in North Dallas.
But this week, she said she got life-altering news for both her and her stylists: That more than a dozen employees of the Black-owned business would have to shut down immediately.
“Literally a staff of 18, and say we have to pack up our things, and move out,” Johnson told WFAA.
Johnson said all throughout the night, they had movers come in, pack up their belongings and put it into storage. It's left them feeling heartbroken, and unsure of where to go next.
Johnson and the other booth owners are trying to understand why this happened. Jeremiah Hubbard, a barber at Hands of Glory, said they've been paying their rent on time.
“Every week," he said. But in a matter of hours, they were forced to shut down.
“For someone to just take it from us, it’s real hard," Hubbard said. "I got kids that depend on me."
WFAA spoke to the landlord of the salon off Montfort Drive, who told us that after the pandemic hit and everything started getting back to normal, business just wasn’t the same. They weren’t making enough money to pay for the property.
Johnson said she understands that the strip of stores, hers included, was closed for two months, but the sudden closure doesn't sit right.
“Every person came back," she said. "I get being in the rear, we were closed for two months. That doesn’t add up to $93,000."
Now, the entire salon is packed up and inside a storage unit.
“We have nowhere to go,” Johnson said.
Nowhere to go, and now asking the public for help.
“We all have children," she said. "I have to pay for her college tuition tomorrow."
"This is a tragedy," she added.
“For someone just to take it - home, this is a home for me - it hurts,” Hubbard said.
David Hopkins, President of Hopkins Commercial Real Estate, the company that owns the strip mall, sent us a statement addressing the issue:
“Through this pandemic we have worked diligently to assist our tenants in every way possible. While the majority of our tenants have been able to make it to 2022, unfortunately, not all of our tenants have made it through the pandemic unscathed. In those cases, we have worked to mutually terminate agreements to leave their credit in good standing. We have given this tenant every opportunity to resolve the issue of default. Since the tenant never resolved the issue of default the Landlord exercised their right to reclaim the space.” David Hopkins, President of Hopkins Commercial Real Estate
Meanwhile, the owner, and employees have set up a crowdfunding campaign, hoping to find another place to lease.