So what’s a shop merchant to do? Answer: Get creative and fight like never before to stay afloat.
Tracey Word, owner of Pretty Little Things, took the challenge head-on and used digital resources to keep her shop “open”. She said, “ My business adjusted by selling exclusively from social media… Facebook and Instagram! Rather than seeing folks in person, I was sending them pictures and measurements and additional information via direct message on a 24-hour basis” Tracey harnessed the power of social media, often using it 8-10 hours a day, to reach out to current followers and entice new ones. She did a few Facebook live sessions, with fellow merchant and owner of Ms. Preppy Pants, to highlight the vintage clothing items she carries and also spent 2-3 hours a day filling orders and shuttling items to patrons at curbside pickup. In addition to all of this, she also made local deliveries and shipped items across the state and country. Small business owners work hard but Tracey said that this has made her work
Pretty Little Things wasn’t alone in this venture. Many downtown merchants sought out creative ways to reach out to their customers. The Department of Transportation and the DeLand Mainstreet Association worked to allow 5-minute parking along the boulevard for curbside pickup. That kept the spaces open and allowed for a quick in and out for customers or delivery to the vehicles.
This just proves the creativity and persistence of the downtown businesses in the face of adversity. Let’s show them our appreciation by supporting these resilient members of our community by shopping and dining at their locations.