This interview is part of a series chatting with local business owners, artists, organizers and people in our community who are learning to adapt during COVID-19.
Carrie Parkhurst – Blush Floral
What does working from home/your workplace look like for you right now?
I have been working both from home and the store. When the pandemic first hit, my main supplier shut down, which meant no flowers! I settled in to my least favorite job, which is paperwork/book work. So you could find mountains of papers filling my work space at the store and, on nice days, my patio table at home.
Thankfully, once my supplier was back up and running I could switch back to creating. Every day there are challenges; it is different and it isn’t easy, but reminding myself to take things one day at a time helps. I am grateful to be open, although there are lots of rules and limitations in doing so it has been amazing!
How have you adapted your operations during the pandemic?
Things have definitely changed as far as operations go. Hours have been shortened to 10:00 am – 3:00 pm from Tuesday to Friday and Saturday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Curbside pick-up is available to those that do not feel comfortable coming in to the store, and although I have always made deliveries, this has increased greatly. Some flowers are not as readily available as they used to be and many flowers are limited.
Normally at this stage I am entering wedding season which is my busiest and most favorite time of the year. All weddings have been postponed or cancelled for most of the 2020 season. This is the most difficult part for me. I am learning how to cope with this on a daily basis.
How have you been supported by the community?
The support I have received is absolutely AMAZING! Being a new business I never thought anything like this would happen. I am surrounded by so many hardworking and positive business owners/neighbours and for that I am beyond grateful. The community, my family and my friends have shown up and done everything they possibly can to keep me going. I would be completely lost without all of these people. My heart is full!
What is something good that has come out of this difficult situation?
Through this I have learned so much. I have grown much closer to other business owners. We have supported one another, given and accepted advice and worked together to pull our small businesses through these trying times. I have learned that it is okay to make mistakes, they make you stronger and wiser. I have learned to accept help, I can’t do it all on my own. These are just a few of the good things I have received throughout this pandemic. Every day I seem to learn something new.
What advice do you have for other business owners at this time?
I think that positivity is key. Stay strong, rely on each other. Ask for help if you need it. We need to accept our new normal and look outside of our comfort zones and make it work. None of these are easy, but this is life right now and we will get through it one day at a time!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Shop local! It really is keeping us together. Remember who is supporting your children’s sports teams and local charities. Small businesses need your help right now, together we can get through this!
Stay tuned as we share more local folks who are Makin’ It Work, and check out our weekly interviews (of the same name) on Instagram Live every Friday.