I remember going downtown to shop. The window displays were lit up with beautiful stories of Christmas. It was a magical time. It was a time when we experienced life in person without thinking about masking and safety measures. As a small business owner, navigating the last 19 months of COVID-19 while trying to offer our signature experience and keep our business open has been a challenge.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 life has changed us and that we are still in a state of transition. I have been living and working online every day since March 2020 and navigating the altered state while managing my retail business in a life support state. I understand the value of time and experience, "pivoting" to a shopping by appointment approach to navigate the new world, hoping that it would resonate with our customers.
The idea of walking into a store is the purpose of having a retail space, and I am so proud of my store. I think if ZOE could talk, she would say the silence has been deafening. I have worked to hold this space for our community. Some of our customers have not made their way back to us, but we have made new friends over the past 20 months and for that I am so grateful for those who tried to seek out independent businesses like ours and take the time for us to get to know each other. Ours is a relationship business, so it takes time. And we value each one of our customers, whether they are in the city of Regina, or outside our city.
Our online location is now an extension of our brick and mortar and has become a shopping destination. When our online guests chat, it's me whom answers - not a bot. We ship as orders come in and when it's time to try before you buy, it's as easy as booking an appointment to shop during the week, or shopping on "Old School Saturday" when no appointment is needed.
And this brings me back to my windows. As people are driving by to and from work, or walking by, we hope to offer a glimpse of what Christmas means to us. Our Christmas is bespoke, curated and not commercial. It is heartfelt, handmade and memorable.
Our store window display including tree and fireplace was hand built by my husband Merv Armstrong. The antlers and stockings are borrowed from our family home.
Our Christmas window is of a time and place not of this world. As it should be.
Lynn, Merv and Yogi