Lopez’s father was a barber, and she spent many Saturdays sweeping up hair as a kid. “My dad was murdered when I was 9,” she says. “Him being murdered always gave me motivation. I never took it as a negative thing. It was more of a positive thing.” Once she and her husband got together, after many years of friendship, they were practically inseparable. His business needed help, so she quit her job in a medical office to take on marketing and administrative duties. Before the coronavirus pandemic, they had just opened a second shop, Bishop Barber Babes, a couple of blocks away. They plan to give away 350 filled backpacks this year.
Bishop Barbers gave away 250 backpacks filled with school supplies and at least as many haircuts during its second back- to-school celebration in 2019. Liegea Lopez, who co-owns the shop with her husband, Marcus Santillan, came up with the idea because she was raised by a single mom. “My mom worked at Salvation Army on Harry Hines,” she says. “I just always saw her struggle all the time, and back-to-school was always a struggle.” Lopez grew up in the Oak Lawn area and went to North Dallas High School, Rusk Middle School and Maple Lawn Elementary, where she first met her husband. They were married five years ago and have seven kids from previous relationships. Santillan bought Bishop Barbers after a tragedy. The previous owner was murdered in 2013 at the hands of an employee he had just fired. “There wasn’t life at the barber shop after the killing,” she says. “We started to do community events, collecting blankets and beanies for the homeless, doing toy drives and asking the community to help with the back-to- school events.”