Blog Post: Coronavirus Edition

May 19, 2020

Well hello there, world! I’ve been meaning to write a Coronavirus update since it all happened, but somewhere along the way, I forgot to….or didn’t feel like it…one of those two.

It’s pretty wild to think that just a little over two months ago, I was celebrating that we were on target to have March be our best month yet. We had two giant baby showers booked for the first two weekends, we had hosted our first bridal shower, had birthday parties in the books, and our weekends were steadily busy. *reminiscing* Ah, those were the good ol’ days…*sips wine*

Admittedly, in mid February when I first heard of Coronavirus, I was one of the people at that thought maybe this was all overblown. My mind immediately went to past situations like Zika, Sars, Mad Cow Disease, Ebola - all of which were certainly threats, but also sensationalized into being bigger than they were, and ultimately contained within weeks. Now, here I am sitting at my dining table, officially in the third month since stopping normal operations, basking in the irony of my initial dismissive tone.

When the threat started becoming real at the beginning of March, we quickly pivoted to include disinfecting measures and took half of our supplies off the floor in order to limit the number of items we have to disinfect. Then, maybe only a little over a week after that, on March 15, I was invited to an emergency call by the Durham Chamber of Commerce with a bunch of other local businesses to discuss what was going on, what to expect, etc. It was on that call that we came to a consensus that within the next 24 hours, everyone should shut down in the interest of public health.

Since then, we’ve been doing some limited business in the form of curbside ordering. It’s not as fancy as an online store, but without a proper inventory management system and our point of sale system hooked up to it, online stores can become a nightmare to manage. Being a newbie, I can’t afford grand investments like inventory management systems, so we’re making do with what we can. Every week, I print out the latest craft kit list, beer and wine lists, and we laminate them. Customers take a look at our list and tell us what they want, we package it all together and pop it in the trunk or back seat, and then the customer pays on our portable point of sale system. We disinfect the point of sale system and all menus after each customer so they’re safe and ready for the next one. We do this Thursdays (4-7pm), Fridays (4-7pm), and Saturdays (12-7pm).

As you can expect, it’s not much that we bring in, but it’s better than a lot of other businesses out there, so we’re counting ourselves lucky.

Honestly, the hardest part of all this is my own motivation. I have some days when I feel optimistic and grateful that we can open in some capacity. Then, some days, I go the bar with the intention of getting work done, only to find myself staring at my computer for hours. From talking with customers and fellow business owners, it seems I’m not alone and that this is a universal roller coaster of emotions that we’re all on together. Even my husband who always works from home has brought up how quarantine has been impacting his mental health. That said, I hope everyone is hanging in there. We’re going to come out of this stronger, wiser, and more compassionate of one another than before. Chin up, and I’ll see your bright faces on the other side.

PS- I will say one bright side of quarantine/curbside ordering has been THE PUPPIES. Please bring me all your dogs during the hours we’re open.