Navigating. A word that I see in countless emails about the COVID-19 virus. Some read: “we are navigating uncharted territory” or “ we are navigating the waves of the pandemic” or this one “we are navigating a new business climate”. It’s true and its probably the best analogy to say that this is like a trip through rough terrain, and we are navigating our way through it. We don’t know what’s around the next bend but we can speculate.

I’m a firm believer in that today is more important than yesterday or tomorrow. It’s important to stay present and to focus mostly on the here and now. I also think that is one of the big lessons that the virus is here to teach us. Both the past and present are interconnected to what we do in the here and now. The past, no matter how difficult, can be viewed from the “here” as the valuable making of the person you are at this point. Those successes and struggles made you. On the other end of the spectrum, the future is my favorite place to daydream about. I imagine how my family will grow, places I’ll go, and experiences that I want to have. It’s important to remember that what we do now will mold what our future looks like. Once again, the present moment shows it’s importance.

So a little over two weeks ago, our business was cranking along. The fourth quarter of 2019 was great! We saw a little slow down in early 2020, but weren’t too alarmed. In January, Mike and I went to Las Vegas and placed more orders than ever on furniture, decor, and gifts to sell at our store. We also wanted to jump in big on some advertising plans and website revisions. We were excited to challenge ourselves with new product lines that required lots of learning because we both feel that if you’re not moving forward your moving back.

Since the announcement by President Trump that we should lay low and slow the spread of this thing, we’ve made adjustments to our direction. You could say we’ve navigated with course corrections. The day that we decided that some staff should work from home and some would keep coming to work, we also made the decision to lock our doors to the public. This is pretty huge for a retail location that depends on sales from foot traffic. Feeling and touching products was no longer an ethical way of selling our products. We were/are still able to help customers over the phone and deliver products to the curb for their pickup. This has proved to be a viable work alternative. The temporary work conditions, allowed one of our employees to completely re-design our website from home! We could have never done this with workload continuing to flood in. Secondly, our picture framer (with help from our paint manager) were able to finish up all the backlogged framing projects that he had fallen behind on. This is a blessing that would have never happened without the shutdown. Thirdly, because we were behind locked doors, Mike and I were able to turn the entire store upside down with new fabrics, furniture, fixtures, displays and so on! When we re-open it will be like a whole new experience. We are very excited to share it all!

As recent as yesterday though, I was a little down. Driving by restaurants that are suffering. Driving by a school that is empty. You can feel the uncertainty in the air. Although I’d say I’m pretty good at finding silver linings, sometimes it’s hard to stay positive. So today, I’m writing this to give you a look into our world. You may have days when it’s hard to stay positive too. I believe that the best way to raise my spirits is to help other people raise theirs. So let’s enjoy the peace and calm that come from not rushing around to multiple appointments. Organize the junk drawer because you want to. See the spring beauty unfold from your makeshift home office window. Enjoy the laughter of children that would normally only be heard by their teachers during the day. Do a little imagining about what your future holds, but choose to do something today that will make your future a good one.

Wishing you health and prosperity

Carole Harvell

Little known fact: The most popular paint color in our store this week has been Calm OC-22. Coincidence? I think not.

Screenshot as my phone is dying!!!!! Be calm.

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