ELK GROVE (CBS13) — A local barber is trying to keep his business afloat under the most difficult circumstances. Not only is he dealing with COVID-19 disruptions, but also a heartbreaking loss.
If you ever meet Frank Xavier, you will quickly find out he is a builder who likes to fix things.
“I create things, I’m a sculptor, I paint things,” he explained.
His newest creation is a barbershop on wheels to keep in line with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order requiring hair salons and barbershops to operate outside if they plan to stay open. Xavier, owner of Xavier’s Barber Shop and Styling Salon, built a platform to stand on, used PVC piping to make dividers and rolls everything else out to set up his workspace.
“I use the window, the reflection in the mirror and I move my station outside and I use an extension cord. You know it’s like being in the barbershop,” he said.
The intensity of the sun is one obstacle he didn’t expect. The barber with 60 years of experience races against the heat, measuring the shadows of the sun to know when it is time to go home. The heat is limiting his hours to 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“You can see the shadow as it gets closer to the sidewalk, I can see and I time it, okay I got a half-hour left,” he said.
Despite being closed for months due to state orders, Xavier believes it was a blessing in disguise.
“COVID-19 happened and shut me down for three months. I didn’t like it but hey, I got to spend time with my wife. We did things together we were happy,” he said.
Xavier did not know it then, but those were the last months he would spend with his wife Isabelle. She was diagnosed with liver disease last month and died July 16th in his arms. He had to wait to bury her due to social distancing protocols and limitations. Isabelle’s funeral was Monday the next day he went to work.
Customer Robert Du Gaue posted on Facebook to help support Xavier and drive business to his shop. The post prompted customers to comment, some even calling to book appointments.
“The post went up and people started giving the likes the loves the cares, all those emojis. It was really great to see the Elk Grove community really pulls together,” said Du Gaue.
Despite all the obstacles, Xavier said he is not focusing on the loss but the memories he gained.
“She was always happy. Her laughter and she was tough,” he said.