"Inundated." A single word to aptly describe how Ian Hooker felt when lockdowns lifted.
Owner of Shabu Hair on Byron, he said he'd had at least six calls on hold at any given moment since the announcement on Thursday, as people flocked to the experts to see the end of their lockdown dread locks.
"We haven't seen too many creative home hairstyles yet, but have certainly seen a few in the street - there are some very interesting mullet cuts walking around," he laughed.
But if those with do-it-yourself disasters need a fix, he hoped they could "wait until the school holidays" because they were absolutely packed to the brim until then.
Taking the work phone home with him at the start of the cut off, he said as soon as Inverell knew the veil would be lifted the reaction was immediate.
Saturday saw him with the scissors from 7.30am that morning until 6pm, and said there was really only one day with a 5pm finish for this week.
"We do have limited numbers allowed in the salon... so it's crazy, but it's also just great."
The sentiment was echoed by Patty Garrett, owner of Vivier Boutique, who said even though they were almost expecting the lockdowns to lift, it was "better to be thrown into it than left closed again for a few week more".
"[Saturday] went really, really well," she enthused.
"People were in early, and were very happy and to be out. It was lovely to be seeing all of our customers' faces again, and even people from Glen, Ashford and Delungra paid a visit, happy to get back in the shops."
She said while the shop may not have been the way she wanted it to be, with a few of her new season styles delayed, the Saturday sales certainly hit the mark with many.
And surprisingly? Many were in the hunt for wedding attire.
"I was sort of expecting [lockdown to end]. I was listening to a radio show and they were predicting we were going to open, but a lot of my stock is running late as it was - but it was OK."
Owner of the Bridge Coffee Lounge Jean Glover was just as thrilled to have her café filled again on Monday.
"There's no doubt things are seemingly back to normal now - and hopefully they'll stay that way," Ms Glover said, the sounds of happy voices and the rattle of a COVID-safe full house in the background on Monday morning.
Now, the hope is for the support to continue for local businesses as uncertainty around the state government's road map grows.
"I would just really urge all the locals to get in and support their local businesses," Mrs Garrett said.
"If this keeps happening, it will be tough. We have to get in, get the jab, stay in town and support local businesses."
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