The coronavirus crisis has devastated companies across the country, but others have adapted and found success. From innovative strategies to discovering new directions, local business owners are finding ways to stay afloat and prosper.
COVID closures were especially difficult for the party planning industry. As weddings and events were canceled or postponed, companies found creative ways to power through the pandemic.
Bri Roberts of Marigold Flowers (shopmarigold.com) made business changes and in the process it bloomed.
“We listened to our customers and made improvements to our website, the ordering process, the delivery process, and the type of arrangements we provide,” Roberts said. “We also continue to make connections and form relationships with other island businesses, and more local farms.”
Four months ago her husband, Wes, joined Marigold full time and started exploring retail spaces on Daniel Island to keep up with their growing business. Unable to find anything to meet their needs, he converted the garage of their Daniel Island home into a full fledged floral studio.
“This includes everything from a walk-in flower cooler to our floral design area, neither of which we would have been able to have with a small retail store. For now it’s been the right decision financially and for our family,” Roberts explained.
Heather Wissman started Sixpence Press (etsy.com/shop/SixpencePress) in 2008, designing and printing letterpress wedding invitations on an antique press along with other related items. The pandemic restrictions gave Wissman the opportunity to reset her priorities and business.
“Those early months in late spring and early summer of the pandemic were pretty stressful for anyone in the event industry. In some ways I have seen this as a blessing in disguise,” Wissman said. “I have found myself with more free time ... I’ve been able to focus on projects that have sat on the back burner for years. The main one being moving my inventory from the sales platform of Etsy to my own e-commerce website.”
Wissman added, “I am finally taking the time to give it roots and to build it from the ground up in the way I envisioned it but never really had the time for.”
Shona Cait, owner of Cleo Bee Cookies (cleobeecookies.com ), discovered an opportunity in the pandemic and started selling a variety of organic healthy cookies.
“I wanted to create a business that I could do from home with my 4-year-old hanging around. And of course, with the ability to be attentive to her,” Cait said. “I felt inspired and motivated by some of the creative/innovative solutions that others had come up with during COVID.”
For Daniel Island resident Hannah Robinson the pandemic turned out to be a blessing. The single mom found her calling amid COVID. Several months ago Robinson started Mountain Belle Creations (charlestonliveedgewood.com/), immediately carving out a niche in the male-dominated woodworking world.
“COVID served as the catalyst to free up time and focus my energies on my passion for live edge carpentry and expanding my knowledge on wood species and artistic techniques,” Robinson said. “Before COVID, I was not sure which direction I was headed next. I took a job bartending because I love chatting with the regulars, but COVID took that extra side income away so I had to figure out what really made my heart soar and that was the art of woodworking. In America, we've allowed our careers to define our sense of self. When that's ripped away, who are we really? I'm just Hannah, the girl who found her passion. And COVID had a major part to play in that.”