AUSTIN (KXAN) – A petition started by a Central Texas licensed cosmetologist has gained thousands of signatures in one day.

The petition asks the state to allow beauty professionals to resume providing service one client at a time, starting May 1. It’s gaining steam as Governor Greg Abbott prepares to announce a plan that will reopen the Texas economy. He’s set to make the announcement Friday.

Central Texas hair salons, nail salons and other beauty studios closed in March when local Stay Home orders went into effect.

“It’s been very difficult. I’ve seen some of my clients kind of rally around me and pay me in advance for services they would get in the future. I’ve had friends provide groceries for my son and I,” said Sarah Johnson who started the petition.

Johnson works at A-Zany-Do Salon and Spa.

For many people, going to get your hair done is more than just getting a cut and color.

“We build relationships. We talk with them. They sit down and talk with us about all kinds of things,” Johnson said. “We create this atmosphere and this safe space.”

Looking at how many people have signed the petition, “Automatically I think I’m not alone in this,” said Johnson.

The petition asks the state the allow hair stylists, nail technicians, massage therapists and other beauty professions to resume serving clients on a one-on-one basis.

Masks and gloves would be required and extra cleaning procedures would be in place as well.

“If we prepared ourselves with proper ventilation to keep air flowing in there, sanitizing, having one person at a time… Just having control of the situation, I think and believe that we would definitely be able to conduct business in a safety manner for sure,” said Felicia Finch.

She’s been a hair stylist for 15 years now.

“We are giving a service, but I think this would also give normalcy to people right now,” she said.

Finch and other stylists have been keeping in touch with their clients through social media and phone calls.

“The struggle is real with most of them,” Finch said. “We’re texting and calling about their root coming out, their hair being overgrown. At-home coloring is definitely not something that we recommend just because it creates more problems later in the future for us.”

Finch said she’s looking forward to the day she can see her clients again in person.

“Yes, financially it would be great for us, but I think it would be great for people to have some sort of normalcy in their life,” she said. “I look forward to seeing them. It is my happy place.”