Resilience on Main: July 2020
July 8, 2020 | 3:13 pm
from Washington Trust
This month brought another batch of inspiring stories from small businesses across Washington.
Resilience on Main is our ode to the generosity, tenacity, and creativity of small business owners in Washington. Each month, Main Street organizations from across the state are invited to nominate one of their small businesses that is brightening their community and persevering despite numerous challenges. We’re thrilled to share these bright spots so you can join us in celebrating, supporting, and drawing inspiration from these amazing Washington entrepreneurs and small businesses!
PS. Curious about the connection between preservation and small business? Learn more about why historic places need small business (and vice versa) at preservewa.org/in-business.
Trinity Dance Prosser, Prosser
Owner: Nicole Moscou
“Ballet students ages three through adult have continued with classes, made skill progression, and are putting the last minute touches on their virtual recital. How is this possible? Their ever-evolving and positive instructor, Nicole! In the very beginning [of the COVID-19 pandemic], owner, dancer, and teacher Nicole Moscou put into place necessary measures to keep the studio sanitized and safe for classes to continue. Until they could not. She then began online videos to keep the dancers moving and engaged while she put together new plans to move the studio to remote classes. The level of professionalism and inventiveness has been inspiring to watch. As time progressed and it became apparent that the studio would not re-open this season nor would the scheduled recital be able to happen, Nicole pivoted again and again to make the most of it for the dancers.”—Jesalyn Cole, Historic Downtown Prosser Association
Find them in person: The Historic Mercer Building at 719 6th Street, Prosser
Find them online: https://www.trinitydanceprosser.com/
How you can support locally: Trinity Dance plans to resume classes this fall—visit their website to sign up today! They offer classes for dancers of all ages and abilities.
How you can support from afar: Check out Trinity Dance’s AWESOME virtual recitals at https://www.trinitydanceprosser.com/recital. And consider making a donation to cover your “entry fee!”
Sweet Spot Skirts, Vancouver
Owner: Stephanie Lynn
Stephanie Lynn is the owner of Sweet Spot Skirts, a store specializing in fun, funky skirts for female bikers and runners to wear over shorts and tights. Many of their sales happen at in-person sporting events, so when the COVID-19 pandemic canceled these gatherings, Stephanie lost much of her revenue practically overnight. She was unable to make rent on her storefront and had to lay off her entire staff of six. Her downtown neighbor, John Bork, was struggling for a different reason. His company, WellHaven Pet Health, operates 41 veterinary hospitals and employs 450 people in five states. Due to the pandemic, he was asked to donate all PPE to health care workers attending human patients. John turned to Stephanie, commissioning a thousand masks and caps to help protect his workers. Stephanie was able to bring back her entire staff to fill the order and quickly picked up more commissions, with John helping to get the word out. Now, Stephanie has launched Facewear Fashions, and she plans to cross-promote her PPE lines with her skirts. “This is a unique partnership between two Main St businesses that displays the community-centric culture of downtown Vancouver.”—Michael Walker, Vancouver’s Downtown Association
Find them in person: 105 W 6th Street, Vancouver
Heritage Distilling Company, Inc., Gig Harbor
Owner: Justin and Jennifer Stiefel
Heritage Distilling Co., Inc. (HDC) answered the call early in the COVID-19 pandemic to pivot their business model to manufacture hand sanitizer. In less than a week, they had produced pre-filled bottles to purchase and had sanitizer on tap to refill containers—all done to FDA standards. “We are proud of the community support and outreach that is so inherent with the mission and staff of Heritage. Their swift response and resilience during a time of crisis has been truly amazing. With a partnership of local donors, Heritage has donated over $10,000 worth of hand sanitizer to first responders and organizations in need, including Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Valley Medical Center, GH Fire & Medic 1, and St. Anthony’s Hospital.”Mary DesMarais, Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance
Find them in person: Visit their flagship distillery at 3207 57th Street Ct NW, Gig Harbor, or visit one of their tasting rooms in Seattle (Ballard and Capitol Hill), Roslyn, or Eugene, OR.
Find them online: https://heritagedistilling.com/
How you can support locally: Visit one of their tasting rooms to purchase hand sanitizer in person. Don’t want to go out? They’ll also deliver spirits locally!
How you can support from afar: Order hand sanitizer online or make a donation to their contribution to organizations in need. While you’re at it, why not order a bottle of their delicious Brown Sugar Bourbon? They’re offering free shipping on orders over $65!
Lara Blair Photography and Brave & True, Camas
Owner: Lara Blair
“Three days before the lockdown, Lara photographed 30 families on their front porch and many merchants by their front doors. She asked that they make a donation to the school backpack food program in exchange for digital image. During lockdown, she completely renovated an underutilized space in an historic building for her photography studio and space for Brave & True classes [a workshop she runs that incorporates art, design, and photography to help empower young women]. She did an online version of the Brave & True class with three separate sections, serving 20 girls. They met once a week to come up with strategies to deal with anxiety and frustration in general and during COVID. She also offered a one-for-one campaign—when clients purchased a session, she gifted a frontline medical worker with a free session and print. She [also offered] reduced rates for student athletes and students who were protesting in #BLM Camas with their signs. Lara’s innovation and heart makes such a difference in our community! We love having her downtown!”—Carrie Schulstad, Downtown Camas Association.
Find them in person: 411 NE Dallas Street, Camas
Find them online: https://www.larablairphotography.com
How you can support locally and from afar: Besides using her amazing photography services, you can help spread the word about the Brave and True classes, resources and podcasts that empower girls and their parents by visiting https://www.braveandtruegirl.com.
Sweetwood BBQ, Wenatchee
Owner: Benj & Kelsey Dew
“Kelsey is not only connected to this organization but this community. When COVID was at its worst in the shutdown here, they partnered with a local nonprofit to help serve the hungry. They served over 1,500 meals one day for who those needed a BBQ meal, even if they could not pay. They have remained open the entire time and navigated these difficult restrictions to provide a constant break from home cooking and giving people some sense of ‘normal.’ Kelsey also helped us source and distribute PPE. She and Benj are amazing, community-minded people who are vital to this place. They have both gone over and above the call of duty in this place and are the FIRST in line to help if anybody needs it.”—Linda Haglund, Wenatchee Downtown Association
Find them in person: 905 N. Wenatchee Avenue, Wenatchee
Find them online: https://sweetwood-bbq.square.site/
How you can support locally: Order takeout from Sweetwood BBQ! You can also visit Country Boy’s BBQ in Cashmere or Dilly Deli—both also owned by the Dews.
Tri-Dee Arts, Mount Vernon
Owner: Summer and Travis Houlihan
“While everyone was still reeling at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis and the beginning of Governor Inslee’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ orders, Summer and Travis Houlihan quickly realized that they could offer a critical resource for families that were suddenly homeschooling their kids. They put together craft kits, pottery-painting-to-go kits, and art supply bundles, offering curbside pick-up almost immediately. They quickly developed an online store, carefully culling from their huge brick-and-mortar inventory for items that best supported parents and families. They also continued their long history of community support, partnering with Children of the Valley on a virtual fundraiser, and providing the community free supplies for posters for peaceful demonstrations. All while homeschooling their own kids in the middle of a pandemic!”—Ellen Gamson, Mount Vernon Downtown Association
Find them in person: 215 S. 1st Street, Mount Vernon
Find them online: http://www.trideearts.com
How you can support locally: Shop safely with your mask at their beautiful historic building at the northern gateway to historic downtown Mount Vernon.
How you can support from afar: Like and follow Tri-Dee Arts on Facebook and Instagram, order from their online store: https://tri-dee-to-go.square.site/s/shop.