Port Orange business owner faces backlash for requiring shoppers to wear masks, use sanitizer

‘It’s about saving lives, keeping other people healthy,’ consignment shop owner says

Business owner faces backlash over mask requirement
Business owner faces backlash over mask requirement

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – Rosalie Shapiro is sticking to her guns and requiring all customers to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask while shopping at her consignment shop, Fashion Safari.

She also has free masks by the door for customers if they don’t have one and has cloth ones for sale.

[INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in Florida]

“It’s about saving lives, keeping other people healthy,” Rosalie Shapiro said. “I wanted to take extra special precautions because I do have an underlying autoimmune disorder and I want to be here and stay healthy.”

Shapiro, who’s been in business for 13 years, said she also wants her customers to stay healthy.

"I'm being respectful to them by wearing a mask and I would appreciate the same respect. Our cases are rising right now in Volusia County," she said.

According to the Florida Department of Health, Volusia County had 534 cases in May and has increased to 860 in just over a month. Shapiro said her new requirements are receiving some backlash, with critics saying she’s violating people’s rights.

“I’ve had negative Facebook comments, I’ve had negative emails. I’ve got some more this morning and I started to read it and it’s like, ‘No, I’m focusing on the positive,’” she said.

Shapiro said she’s also received an equal amount of positive comments, including a nice voicemail.

The store owner said it’s been a struggle to keep the doors open because business is down 95% due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m not concerned about that at all because lives are more important than money,” she said.

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About the Author:

Loren Korn is a native Texan who joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2014. She was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism.