Who would have thought, in 2020, a pandemic would spread throughout the world in a matter of weeks and cause the havoc we have experienced in all aspects of our lives. Fidalgo Artisan Yarn and Clothing had the same experience as many businesses: we shuddered in late March and waited. We hoped and waited. And when it rains, it pours: in mid- April, I discovered that our shop floor had to be rebuilt. For several weeks, it felt like my business had been completely destroyed – both physically with the floor and through mandated closure.
I am extremely grateful to my colleagues, my husband, and shop customers. I shed many tears and had sleepless nights as the frustration and worry continued to mount. Friends and customers stopped by to inquire about how the shop was doing and ask how I was holding up. Dan made dinners and kept our home life as comfortable as possible. Customers called in orders just to support us. Love and concern came from all corners of my world. We DO get through things; nothing stays constant although the process can be so very difficult and fear of the future can be ever-present.
These days, my business looks similar when customers walk through the door: shelves of hand-dyed yarns and beautiful specialty and handmade clothing are on display. The changes have been internal. To save on payroll expenses, I have taken over as the full-time shopkeeper rather than being present in the background. Our hours are still seven days a week but we close at 3pm each day. The greatest aftereffect is that our online shop picked up after four unsuccessful years. Our customers have been superb; we haven’t had one issue with masking or social distancing and with the new parklet outside, and we are now able to have safe gatherings on nice days.
I always say we need to be nimble and it has served the business well to this point. Thank you to the City and the Chamber for their communication and programs to support businesses in Anacortes. Thank you to my dear customers and colleagues for making it a point to support me, the shop, and to keep us going. And thank you to this wonderful community as we all wait and hope that next year will bring healing and an end to Covid-19.
-Lori Maul, Owner of Fidalgo Artisan Yarn & Clothing