Tales from a Shopkeep: Covid 19 part 1

how-to-help-someone-with-anxiety-header-min2020 is something else, isn’t it? I mean, it’s only March and I myself feel like I’ve been through the ringer.  In January I watched my dear aunt end her fight with cancer, surrounded by her 5 young children, her husband, a myriad of cousins, my parents, and my grandmother. No more than a week after that I learned that a good friend, and an amazing artist also lost her battle with cancer. Our community is still trying to heal from this loss . . .  In February things started looking up. I decided to really take on this ‘owning a business’ thing and open a new brick and mortar called oak.  I also got engaged to an amazing man who . . . i honestly can’t believe i’ve lived this long without. My relationships with my close friends just got closer. I  opened up in ways I hadn’t opened up before. I felt good. And now, this.

I don’t know where to begin. I don’t really have to. We’re all going through it. Covid 19 is here. I ignored it for too long. We all did. And here we are faced with the reality of that . . . ignorance. Last month at our brick and mortar meeting a fellow shop-owner brought up Covid 19 and asked the city representatives that were present at said meeting what ‘the plan’ was. I scoffed (in my mind) because I never thought it would get to us. I didn’t imagine it would get this far. And yet, here we are. And where is that exactly?

Well, we’re at a place where:

  1. businesses are moving to remote only
  2. large scale events are being postponed or cancelled
  3. schools are being closed
  4. trips are being postponed /travel in general
    and eventually .  . .
  5. businesses are going to close (hopefully temporarily)

And so that gets me to the reason I started this post in the first place — which I’ve gotten away from because . . . oh wait, i can’t focus my mind on ANYTHING right now! (sorry!).

Our artists, that we carry at Gather – that we host for Bloomington Handmade Market – who we are friends with and create community with — the shows that pay their mortgages in the spring and early summer are being cancelled. And for good reason! We need to be proactive – we need to not continue the spread of this – but . . . but, we need to keep supporting our artists in any way we know how! So, obviously, come into the store – sure sure. Shop the store’s FB and IG. Yes yes. But, there’s more. Because at the end of the day it’s not just about us. It’s about US! And our makers make US who we are. We would be lost without them.

So, in an attempt to focus for just a minute – I’m going to throw out some links to artists web stores who I know have been personally affected by these cancellations and some links to shows that will have other links to other artists who you can support as well. And I hope you do. I know it’s a hard time. It’s not exactly the best time to shop . . . but as my partner said when I was crying to him about being so upset about all this, “we should look for some artists that you know are affected and order some things. Even if we don’t need them now we can save them and give them as gifts later.” And so . . . we are. I hope you do to.

There are sOOOO many more guys, but, there’s not enough time in the day. I would like you to all the shows that have been cancelled, but most of them don’t actually list their makers, so I will leave you with a link the the amazing Craftin’ Outlaws who does have something in the works for a virtual show AND they list their makers! So, head over there to do some shopping, head over the BHM website and shop from those makers there, or head into Gather (or the Gather FB/ IG and shop online) and support the arts!


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