A San Francisco salon owner says she is “done” with the city and plans to close her shop permanently following backlash and controversy this last week after a video of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi inside the salon without a mask surfaced.
Owner Erica Kious announced her decision Wednesday night on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show.
Kious owns ESalonSF in San Francisco. She says one of her stylists, who is an independent contractor, told her Speaker Pelosi was coming in for an appointment on August 31.
Salons in San Francisco have been closed since March, and were told they could reopen for outdoor services on September 1.
Kious released the video of Pelosi’s visit, showing the Speaker with wet hair and not wearing a mask at the time, the day after her appointment.
Pelosi responded to the video saying her team had been told it was OK to come inside to have her hair done, and that she felt the incident was “a set-up.” A statement released by the stylist who did her hair reportedly agrees it was a set-up, and states he had gotten permission from Kious verbally the night before the appointment.
ABC7 in the Bay Area reports some stylists at ESalonSF have quit, claiming Kious’ made them work during the pandemic in unsafe conditions.
The video of Pelosi sparked reaction from a lot of people; including fellow stylists and salon owners, business owners in California, and President Donald Trump, among others. Demonstrators in curlers left hair dryers outside Pelosi’s home last week according to local media. Video of Pelosi's visit was played during a White House briefing on September 3.
Kious now says she is “afraid to go back” to San Francisco.
“I started to just get a ton of phone calls, text messages, emails, all my Yelp reviews… saying that they hope I go under and that I fail,” Kious told Carlson on Wednesday night. “So just a lot of negativity towards my business.”
The news comes just two days after Kious thanked supporters after a GoFundMe account set up to support her and her salon raised more than $300,000.
The account stated, "At the conclusion of this fundraiser, ALL donations will go directly to Erica to pay off any debts from the business that she is forced to shut down, expenses to relocate and reopen in a new location."
It is not clear if Kious’ comments Wednesday night about closing permanently mean she will not re-open a salon in a different location. The salon’s website does not have information about any closure.