LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With the shut down of "non essential" businesses throughout the South Plains, hundreds of local store owners have had to close their doors. Leaving owners like Mike Diaz wondering when they'll be able to open them again.
Diaz runs Sunken City Ink tattoo shop in Lubbock, and said when he saw cities around the world shutting down, he knew it was only a matter of time before he would have to do the same.
“Thank god for social media and stuff like that, because I was able to see when other people were already posting and shutting down,” he said. “So, it helped out to where were kind of like we need to get in as many people as we can. You know be frugal with your money. You know, don’t spend it, keep it and let’s start figuring out ways to to start thinking ahead.”
He said even before the official shut down, his shop started to implement new guidelines to not only protect themselves, but their customers as well. They began regulating how many people could be in the shop at one time and discontinued walk ins.
"You kind of focus on different stuff and you learn that you need to adapt," Diaz said. "There's other things that we can do, art can only take you so far. So you know if there's a way out, or a way around it if it doesn't take too long we're going to find a way around it."
For Diaz, it was another hobby of his that he has always been passionate about, drawing portraits.
He said, "It's been something that I wanted to do. Just do a drawing every day and kind of keep, keep that aspect up. And then I started getting people who wanted to get drawings done and wanted to get portraits done and I figured why not do that, and it keeps my practice up at the same time."
Diaz said the prices of his portraits vary depending on the size and the detail in the picture they send him. Once a price is agreed upon, he draws the portrait and sends it back to the customers via email. He said he is even accepting payments using paypal and Venmo, so that he and the customer can continue practicing social distancing and never physically come into contact with one another. His daughter is even getting in on the action, using the popular app Tik Tok.
He said he has postponed all of his remaining appointments until the state’s disaster declaration is lifted.