Shelley Luther is the owner of the Salon À la Mode in Dallas, Texas, who was sentenced to seven days in jail and a $7,000 fine for opening her salon despite the stay-at-home order from Gov. Greg Abbott and the state’s and county’s orders to close all non-essential businesses.
Luther reopened her salon, which had been closed since March 22, on April 24, and she received a citation from police. On April 25, Luther attended a protest at Frisco City Hall where she publicly tore up the cease-and-desist letter, receiving nationwide coverage.
Update (May 7, 2020): Luther has been released from jail following Gov. Abbott’s COVID-19 executive order amendment. The amendment “eliminate[s] confinement as a punishment for violating the order.” In a statement about the amendment, Abbott said:
Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen. As some county judges advocate for releasing hardened criminals from jail to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is absurd to have these business owners take their place.
Here’s what you need to know about Shelley Luther:
1. She Was Given a Cease-and-Desist Order From a Dallas Judge After Reopening Her Business
Luther reopened her salon, Salon À la Mode, on April 24 despite the state’s and county’s stay-at-home orders. She received a cease-and-desist letter from a Dallas County judge that ordered her to close the salon, but she publicly ripped it up at a protest. She told CBS that she’s against the “safer-at-home” order due to financial reasons. “Our salon and other small businesses were closed down on March 22, and we have not had any income since,” she said.
At the time, she added that even if she got arrested for defying the orders, she would still try to keep her shop open. “It’s our right to keep the store open,” she said. “It’s our right for those women to earn income for their families.”
2. Luther Was Sentenced to 7 Days in Jail & Fined $7,000
On Tuesday, May 5, Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail and fined $7,000. Dallas County Judge Eric V. Moyé found Luther to be criminally and civilly in contempt of court and said that reopening her salon was a selfish act. The judge told Luther that she could avoid jail time if she closed the salon and apologized for her actions.
Luther responded that she could not comply with the orders and would not apologize. She said: “I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish, because feeding my kids is not selfish. So, sir, if you think the law’s more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I am not going to shut the salon.”
Luther wore a mask to the hearing, and she was immediately taken into custody afterward. Her lawyer, Warren V. Norred, told The New York Times that they planned on appealing immediately.
3. She Is in a Relationship With Tim Georgeff, Has 2 Daughters & They Have Tons of Pets
Luther is in a relationship with musician Tim Georgeff, who has been keeping friends and family updated about the court process on Facebook Live. She has two daughters from a previous relationship, and Georgeff has a son from a previous relationship. Luther posts frequent pictures with her daughters on Facebook.
They have a lot of animals around their home, posting frequent pictures of puppies, cats and a lemur. The two recently got a wallaby named Scooby Roo and posted a video of it on Facebook. According to one of Georgeff’s posts, they have “six horses, three mini-horses, two donkeys, eleven goats, three ducks, six dogs, a wallaby, a ringtail lemur, and a bengal cat.”
4. She Owns Salon A la Mode & Is a Professional Makeup Artist
Luther is the owner of Salon À la Mode, where she also works as a professional makeup artist. The salon employs 19 people, which she’s mentioned during interviews about the importance of reopening her business for her employees. They offer hair color, cuts, styling, nails, braiding, facials, waxing and makeup.
She announced the reopening on Facebook and provided some COVID-19 guidelines for her clients who wished to attend. Georgeff is very supportive of her reopening her salon, writing that he is “really proud” of her decision.
5. She Is in a Musical Duo With Her Husband Georgeff Known as CRUSH
Luther and Georgeff form a musical duo together called CRUSH. Their website describes the group:
Led by Tim Georgeff and Shelley Luther, CRUSH has years of combined expertise and moxie; their ownership of five different restaurants and clubs giving them clear insight into the demands of today’s venue owners and event planners; and their musical skills honed by years of working with some of the country’s top bands make them unparalleled when it comes to reading and capturing the attention of the audience.
The duo describes themselves as “one of the most exciting acoustic acts in Texas and the surrounding states.”