“How are you doing?” – This is what I am asked every day, multiple times a day. And my answer changes constantly because I am just rolling with the punches as they come.
We closed our retail storefront, The Johnson Manor, in March due to the COVID pandemic and I remember that I froze and sat at home for a week. I was wondering when this would be over and started planning our reopening in April. Little did I know, that was not going to be the case. I quickly realized that I needed to pivot and find a way to make my business work. I also had to find a balance in caring for my young son in the midst of a pandemic. Finding childcare in the very beginning was a complete nightmare and it continues to be one of the most stressful things I deal with every week.
Even with all these things working against me, we have continued to serve our community and customers. We were able to transition to online and Facebook sales during the beginning of the crisis when our doors were shut and continue to utilize multiple avenues of commerce. Ecommerce is the only way retail businesses are going to survive this unusual time.
We have officially had our doors back open since mid-June and nothing is normal. We have put in place a limit of 12 people in the store and have put markers on the floor so that people can observe social distancing. We have hand sanitizer for all those in the store and we will all be wearing masks. With all this in place – it creates a different environment in the store and we all feel it. We continue to have both good and bad days. We try to be positive and provide a welcoming environment – so that many can escape the stresses of the pandemic and have a fun place to shop. I hope that someday things will be back to normal, but we are ready as a business to continue to serve in whatever capacity we are able to.
We wish everyone the best during this crisis and want you to know we are rooting for all small businesses out there. We understand this is a challenge and we are here to support all those working hard to bring an end to this pandemic as well as those of us that are just trying to make it through another day during this uncertain time. Lastly, we would like to thank all those that have supported us during this time and remind everyone to SHOP SMALL!
Elizabeth Johnson, owner of The Johnson Manor