Our stores have officially had their doors closed for 13 days now. Since I have worked at the Pink Valise boutique, four and half years, I don't think I have ever been away from the store for more than a week and a half, and that was only to visit family in South Florida. I miss working in the store. I miss opening new shipment. I miss customer's faces. The atmosphere.
Have I stayed completely away? Absolutely not. I have been walking to the store in Alpharetta about every other day, to take new pictures of merchandise or ship out an online order. Those few hours there are keeping me sane, the change of scenery from the kitchen island. An empty store is painful though...
Not just our store really but the entire Alpharetta City Center. The hardest was walking up to the center the first Sunday that all the merchants had decided to lock their doors until further notice. I know almost all of the store owners on a first name basis and I have personally witnessed all the hard work and dedication each and every one of them has put into their business. I may have cried.
What are you doing to get through this difficult time? Here a quick run through of my new daily schedule.
At about 8am I wake up and eventually head downstairs to make breakfast, I am slow at getting up in the morning. Recently, my go to breakfast is scrambled eggs, a greek yogurt, toast with homemade blueberry jelly and a LARGE iced coffee. I take my time eating since there is no rush to get anywhere.
At 9am I head back to my room to get ready for the day. Here is what has made the biggest difference during this time: GETTING DRESSED! I am not talking changing into a different set of pajamas. I am talking getting dressed like I am going somewhere. My recent go to's are our "Spellbound Tank" paired with our "Everyday Ankle Pant" or our "River Dress". These pieces are 96% cotton making them comfortable to work from home in. Even if I accomplished 1000 tasks that day, changing into normal attire makes everything seems so much more normal.
About 10 am, I head to the store. I have also been a person on the go so even going to the store for a few hours by myself helps everything feel normal, or as close as I can get to it. I accomplish tasks such as photoshoots and publishing merchandise on the website.
By about 4 or 5 pm I am on my way back home. The weather is at least nice enough on a regular basis to be able to work out outside (in my front yard). I have a new appreciation for the little things. I feel as if my workouts have been getting longer and longer. I just want to enjoy any minute of being outside as I can get.
I head back inside nearly two hours later, to shower and cook dinner. I normally have always enjoyed cooking at home but I will say I miss going out to dinner to catch up with my friends. You better believe after this is all over you will catch me at the nearest Mexican restaurant with plenty of tacos and margaritas! After dinner I am back on my work laptop, editing, researching, brainstorming and planning. Work stops when my eyes hurt from looking at the computer screen for so long.
This is just a friendly reminder that while small businesses may have closed their doors, we are still working tirelessly to reach our customers in new and innovative ways. We are all working twice as many hours, which was already outrageous, to reinvent our business. Make sure to support your local small businesses, they are your neighbors and friends that are struggling to keep their dreams alive.
Alpharetta Store Manager
I spoke with you & the owner of the shop in Thomasville on Monday of this week regarding my order for a gift card for my daughter’s birthday. You said you had received my order & you would e-mail me the gift crrtificate that same day. To date (Thursday, April 16), I have not received anything from you. You state in your blog that you go to your store everyday. However, I have tried to call to determine the status of my order, but you don’t answer the phone. This was a $100 gift certificate & I don’t understand what the problem is regarding being able to communicate with you as to whether or not my order is going to be received in a timely manner. Please advise as to where this stands as I need to be pursuing something else if you can not deliver on my order. My daughter lives in Alpharetta, loves your store & shops their frequently. You can reach me at the email address request for this comment or by phone at 478-442-1795.