SAN ANGELO, Texas — In March 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order temporarily closing non-essential businesses in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Aubrey and Alex Trufant, owners of the Trufant Brothers Tattoo Shop in downtown San Angelo, had to quickly close their doors and cancel any upcoming appointments for an indefinite amount of time.
"It was stressful. I just remember being told, 'hey, we're not going to work tomorrow,'' Aubrey Trufant said.
For eight weeks, Alex and Aubrey waited for Gov. Abbott to give them permission to open the shop they've been running for 15 years. That day finally came on May 18, 2020.
"It was like flipping a switch. One moment we're closed and we got the front of the shop boarded up, then next thing you know we're back to work," Aubrey said.
Just like all of the other businesses that have been reopened in the wake of COVID-19, the Trufant brothers will have to follow safety precautions issued by the governor and local health officials.
This includes a 10-person in-store limit, deep sanitation of equipment after each customer and the wearing of face masks. Most of the guidelines are nothing new to tattoo shops, according to Aubrey Trufant.
"Tattoo shops are a lot cleaner than other places. The governor's guidelines kind of follow the guidelines we already had before. The only extra stuff is that we want to limit the amount of people who are in the building, some people might have to wait outside for a little bit for their appointment, and just wearing the masks," he said.
It is unknown when tattoo shops will be able to host more than 10 people at a time.