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Small Businesses Are Having to Get Creative Over COVID-19

16 March, 2020

            Image of woman making a face and the words "oh crap"

I won't sugar coat it, I'm starting to freak out a little. You see, 2020 was the first year since starting this business I didn't take a part-time job to supplement my income. January was generous, with checks from the holidays still rolling in and a couple of unexpected wholesale orders; I was feeling very pleased with myself. Fast forward to March and one by one, my stockists are temporarily closing their doors and spring markets are being canceled to prevent the spread of infection.

Most years, April kicks off market season with one or two shows who's success depends largely on the weather. This year, the one show that was scheduled has been postponed. By May, I can usually count on a fairly predictable flow of income and spending for the rest of the year. Fingers crossed the farmers market season isn't affected (and as soon as I wrote this I heard Trump say this could last into July or August).

The upside of this year's epidemic disruption is how creative some stores are getting in an effort to keep generating sales, even while they are closed or have less foot traffic. Most people in the community are being really good to one another, it seems, which gives me hopes for the even tougher times that are coming.

So this is the most current info I have on my stockists (as of March 22). It's so important to me and my business that all of these stores are able to reopen after this crisis has passed. If you can send some business their way, please do!

Analog Vault is still open and has been selling quarantine mystery boxes full of records to bring people in. They have been adding items to their online store, as well.

Blooming Acres is still taking phone orders for delivery to the Mount Vernon and Lisbon area.

Crafted Quad Cities is closed until further notice, but much of their offering is available online.

Kae Apothecary in Mount Vernon is now offering shopping by appointment. They have made many items available online for delivery or pickup. Andrea has also begun broadcasting her weekly community meditation on Facebook so you can follow along.

The Local in Wisconsin (also closed) is offering free local delivery and are going live periodically on Facebook to showcase their store offerings. They've assembled some amazing gift sets for sale on their website (some including our products).

Mohair Pear in Cedar Falls is closed until March 31st.

Newbo Shops at 208 (Cedar Rapids) is closed until further notice, but have offered to arrange for pickup if you need something.

Raygun is closed until April 1st and in-store pickup has been suspended.

Relics in Peoria, IL is closed until further notice.

White Rabbit in Iowa City has closed the shop until further notice, but is planning to continue running sales on their Instagram and Facebook stories and putting more of their store offering up on their website so customers can shop online. Our stuff isn't on there yet, so if you are desperate for bath products in the IC area, reach out to them on social media for assistance.

As I learn more, I'll update this page. Meanwhile, know that your local small businesses and handmade business owners are going to have a rough spring (and possibly summer). Please consider shopping small as much as possible to make sure those businesses can keep offering your favorite products through 2020 and beyond. This could truly be the end for some.

Thank you and stay safe, friends!