The COVID-19 crisis has shaken us all up.
We’ve had to adapt to a topsy-turvy world where we rarely venture out of our own backyards, where working from home is the new norm and brunch dates with friends are a distant memory.
It isn’t easy, but we’re making it work.
For small business owners though, the weight has been heavier as they’ve helplessly watched their livelihoods – their passions – trickle to a halt.
Sarah Reynolds is the director of The Resort Store, a women’s clothing boutique in Brighton, 10 kilometres south-east of Melbourne.
The impact of the pandemic was swift, with her store closing as soon as lockdown was announced on March 23.
“Revenue dropped like a stone, but I had just taken delivery of all my winter stock,” Sarah tells Mamamia. “Suppliers were waiting to be paid.”
The only sales channel left was online, so putting herself in front of the camera via social media was the only way Sarah could stay in touch with shoppers – even though it was “way out” of this businesswoman’s comfort zone.
“I have always got my energy from interacting with customers in-store, and initially was really missing that,” she says.
“There’s been a couple of days when I’ve felt very ‘blah’ and couldn’t bring the right energy to film a video, but I allowed myself that break, sometimes confessing it on my socials.
“There’s financial stress, but without all the support and encouragement from my customer community, it might have got the better of me.”