I recently picked up some new locally made face masks while wearing a face mask from my friend El, owner of Here. A Pop-Up Shop in Annapolis.
She is a hugger and so am I so now when we face each other, it is a combination of jazz hands and air hugs, six feet apart. No one now knows what to do with our hands. Her small business is now allowed to have customers pick up their items curbside which is a blessing, but coordinating all of the timing and organizing and grouping and who is picking up when is a logistical curse.
And she is doing it all by herself.
And so is Lisa who owns Rasa Juice.
And Shannon who owns Mango & Main.
And my dear sister Angie who owns Rise n’ Grind, who like many other coffee shops are just now reopening because they have been forced to reevaluate and pivot every single aspect of how they run and reopen their businesses to keep every employee and customer safe.
And there are countless other leading ladies.
They are primarily all one woman shows. And they get it done. Every single day. And they are also mothers. So now in addition to running websites, shipping orders and owning shops that haven’t had their doors open for weeks, they also have kids at home with all of the challenges of eLearning and the emotional roller coaster of parenting during a quarantine that come along with that role.
It is not the Targets or the Home Depots or Amazon who are taking a hit right now. It is the small businesses.
Here’s to the women who started with a dream and a vision. They have worked relentlessly and have sacrificed religiously to have these brick and mortar shops. They support the local artists and fair-trade makers around the globe. They give back. They help support their own families, they adore their communities and they know their customers names. Their eyes light up above their masks when they see you for your contactless pickup. They have had to evolve in these hard times and they ask with grace for one thing in return, that you continue to show up for them.
And that isn’t even with your dollars because they know how challenging this time period is for everyone. But just by simply sharing their social media posts you are showing your support; it is free and yet priceless at the same time. Please keep spreading the word of the small businesses. They are the foundation of what makes this place we call home so beautiful and unique and inspires us all to keep dreaming yet this pandemic is pushing them to the sidelines and too many places are going to have to close their doors permanently, if they haven’t already. Long live the businesses that make this country different instead of those that make it feel overtaken and the same.
You have a choice of where you spend your well-earned dollars. So, the next time you need a gift or a juice or a face mask or a smile, please shop/drink/share the love locally.
They need us now more than ever.
Katie has a book out that is a collection of quotes and mic drops to embrace your inner warrior. “Girl Power” is available on Amazon and is the perfect gift for all the warriors in your world. You can find out more details and book signing info on her instagram @katieyackleymoore. Endless thanks for reading. Xo
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.