How COVID-19 Has Affected My Business
Friends, when I got word that there was a global pandemic, that there would be a stay home movement, that businesses would be forced to close to the public, my heart sank. How would my small business ever survive this? Clothing isn't a necessity, people are going to forget about Council. They'll only be buying groceries and blow up sprinkler toys to keep kids entertained. But before I let myself get too far down the rabbit hole of fear, I knew I had a choice. I could let this take me over and take Council down, or I could rise to the occasion. I decided the latter was my only option.
I knew that there would be a lot of factors I couldn't control, so I decided to focus on what I could control- and still can- because let's be real, this is still happening with no end in sight. I buckled down and made a plan. I knew I had a captive audience at home just scrolling social media, and you know what? People did want to buy clothing. Retail therapy is real. At first only comfy stay-at-home clothes sold, so that's what I boosted. Then as social distancing events popped back up, dresses, skirts and pretty tops started selling, too. Drive- by birthday parties and graduations were still on, weddings may be pushed back, but everyone still needs something to wear in August or October or whenever it is. Having a new top on in that zoom happy hour made her a little happier.
My new business plan was delivering locally, offering free shipping, sending out clothing on approval for fun try on parties, I did super sale items regularly, discounted my sale section a little deeper, and my clients showed up for me like I couldn't believe. I am still floored when I look at the numbers. I buckled down for low months, and March was a little rough. But April was almost a normal sales month, and you know what? May 2020 beat May 2019 in sales.
I just can't express my gratitude enough. I love getting to know my clients and their stories; why they need that special dress or why they're buying new jeans. Everyone has a journey, it's not just clothes. What you wear is a reflection of who you are, and if you don't feel good in what you're wearing, you're going to be distracted and grumpy. I encourage clients to choose comfortable pieces that make you feel like your best self. I guarantee you, when you like what you're wearing, you'll have a better day.
I have worked my tail off to get Council where it is today, and these past 3 months I worked even harder. I was alone at the store every day, and some days I felt like it was Groundhog Day. When my motivation was lacking, I turned the music up, got some good food/coffee and remembered why I started. Knowing what I am capable of is invigorating. Council isn't going anywhere thanks to YOU!
Use code SMILE4STYLE for 25% off one item.
Clare , you have been true to yourself & your mission! You’ve motivated us to be inspired & happier Including new attire – making a difference
in Our Attitudes .
I love your store Claire. Both you and Council Wardrobe are a beautiful presence in Columbus.
I LOVE your boutique Clare! I also love the way you promoted and went outside of the box to boost your sales, save your boutique, and bring some joy to your clients!
Love this! So proud of you!! 🤍
Love your style, Clare and love to shop in your precious boutique! 💯
Well said! I loved every uplifting word :)