“There may be tears and there may be Prosecco involved but we're gonna get through it."
“I'm lucky that my shop has a large parking lot out back and porches everywhere, wrapping around the house. I can utilize all of that. And that I think has made the biggest impact on my business because people are okay shopping outdoors.
The first time I did an outdoor sale, I didn't know what the numbers were going to look like. Because everyone, you know, is in the same boat as far as like, maybe we shouldn't spend any money. If you're lucky and have two people with two jobs, that's great but a lot of people aren't that lucky because they either lost their job or have to stay at home to take care of their kids when the schools went online. And so I don't take anything for granted.
Let's face it, I hate to say it but there's not one thing that you have to have that's in this store. I believe in it and I love everything that I have in here. But you can’t eat it. And you can survive without it. And you know, you may possibly be putting yourself at risk if you're around other people. Every single one of those things crosses my mind still every day when I open. So I'm very, very grateful for anyone that comes to my door, and whether they buy anything or not, they're trying, you know, just as hard as I'm trying, they're trying.
So for that first outdoor sale, it was about getting through my fear and my anxiety. This either was gonna work or not. And I said to my friend who was helping me, ‘You know what, we may be sitting here looking at each other, and we're good. We're gonna have fun, no matter what. There may be tears and there may be Prosecco involved but we're gonna get through it.’
I think a maximum of 20 people or something was allowed at a gathering at that time. So I got on my phone and texted my core group of customers, my Hillsborough "VIPs" and friends from my neighborhood in Chapel Hill. Eighteen of 20 came out. It was a small group, but It's what I needed because I was terrified with what to do about COVID and customers anyway. You can't help but think you're going to get sick every time you come into contact with someone and I can't do my job without coming into contact with someone. So getting through that first sale, that first outdoor sale, was key. The next day, the next two days, we did really well, but I just needed to get my feet wet. I needed to get over my anxiety and I needed to know that I can do this. I think that was my biggest turning point because I was genuinely overwhelmed by the support.
Even though I am scared, I don't have some of the challenges other places have. I am fortunate to have so much outdoor space. So, I'm grateful. And everyone here in Hillsborough, we all want everyone to succeed. We want to help each other, we want to get through it. And that's what I keep saying, we're going to get through this, you know, we have to.” -- Jeannie, Uniquitiques #NorthCarolina