Get Inspired: How Stores Have Adapted in 2020

There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to really test a small business’s ability to adapt. 2020 hasn’t pulled any punches, and anyone who isn’t Jeff Bezos has had to make some tough calls: tightening belts, adjusting expectations, filing for government help, and rethinking what and how we can contribute to the world (and how to do it safely).

There is no single right way to navigate COVID-19. We’re not here to judge what you and your business have had to do to survive. We’re just glad you’re getting through it. But here are some shops that have found a way to innovate while staying mindful of their values. That’s a lot to balance right now, so we’re sending respect out to these folks:

Seven Sisters’ Spices Larder

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Shop / Instagram

Chloë Edwards started her home-based food business in 2013, and she’s had a long-time commitment to not using plastic packaging. With folks staying home, there was a surge of interest in ready-made meals, and more people wanting to order regularly. Chloë was able to meet one of her goals of offering reusable steel and glass food containers when customers sign up for her Supper Club. Repeat buyers can feel good about enjoying her delicious, colorful meals without the waste of disposable containers.

Brass Arrow

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Shop / Instagram

Does it seem like just about everyone with a sewing machine heard the call to start making masks in March? Those of us who can’t be trusted with a needle and thread thank you. Noel Bennetto from Brass Arrow took compassion even further by selling masks on a sliding scale. The lowest price for people with low income, a middle price that covers the cost of material and labor, and a slightly higher price that allows Brass Arrow to make your mask, and donate masks to essential workers and those who need them.

Reveal Records

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Shop / Twitter

Musicians and their labels were hit hard when tours and live shows were abruptly closed down for the sake of public safety. Fans jumped on Zoom and Instagram Live to get a taste of the live music we miss, while those in the music industry had to think of creative ways to pay rent. Reveal Records came up with a way to thank folks for donating to the cause: their name in the album credits for a future release.

Sophie and Lili

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Shop / Instagram

How do you turn sweet illustrations into meaningful change? By creating products with a donation component. Jennifer Vallez often creates artwork that reflects a cultural moment, and COVID-19 certainly qualifies. Buy a poster encouraging mask-wearing and other safety measures to donate to a teacher’s Donors Choose page, or sip coffee from a mug that supports disaster relief.

Right now stress is high and we’re all just trying to get through our days. Seeing indie businesses come together to support each other, their communities, and causes they care about has been a real bright spot. We always knew you were a scrappy, smart, and innovative bunch, but we’ve never been more proud to work along side you.

Sarah Anderson

Marketing at Big Cartel. Loud talker, maker at City of Industry. Semi-professional aunt. Pretty psyched about all of it.

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