BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — While businesses have begun to start opening back up, some simply don’t have that option anymore, including Hair Nation in Brownwood.
Owner Clarence Hickerson has been forced to close his barber shop, a place he used as his way of coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“When they shut our doors because of the coronavirus, that was pretty much the end of my business,” Hickerson said.
The barber shop had been open for three years.
“I was paying the bills out of my pocket. I wasn’t bringing in too much, so I had to close it down due to that. It was great while I had it, it helped out a lot,” he says.
Hickerson had served for 10 years in the U.S. Navy, including at Desert Storm, and 12 more for the Army National Guard. When he retired in 2011 out of Camp Bowie, he stayed in Brownwood to launch his barber shop as a coping mechanism for his PTSD.
He went to Ranger College Cosmetology School and followed by attending Neecee’s Barber College.
He brought aboard his friend Heather from cosmetology school to join him as she too suffered from PTSD.
“She helped me get through cosmetology school and I kept in contact with her afterwards. I helped her get through school because she was going through issues,” Hickerson said. “That’s the only person that really helped me when I was going to school, why not reach out and give her a hand?”
Fast forward to March, and after not receiving a small business loan, Heather has found a new opportunity in Abilene, while Hickerson looks to continue his career as a barber.
“I’m thinking about going and getting my instructor’s license. That way, if I do decide to open up another barber shop, it’d also be one where I could educate other people to come and cut hair,” Hickerson said.
In the meantime, Hickerson is thankful for those helping him during this tough time.
“I’ve got a good support system around me. My son came down and he’s helping me out, my fiancee is helping me out,” Hickerson said.
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