Online sales boosted their profits and sustained their brick and mortars
Story and photos by RAEGAN ZITTING
Throughout the devastating and isolating year, the pandemic has suppressed companies worldwide. Numerous articles have discussed the tragedies and downfalls of multimillion-dollar corporations. However, these three local companies proved otherwise.
Prominent consumers wandering around downtown Salt Lake City relish incredible women and their successful business stories throughout the pandemic. They represent the triumphs rather than the trials of the unknown era.
Abbey Muse, owner of Animalia in downtown Salt Lake City, shared how her positive outlook and creativity ultimately fueled her small shop and promoted greater success than she could’ve imagined.
Muse created Animalia, located at 280 E. 900 South, in 2018 with sustainability and connections in mind.
After the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, Muse was forced to let her employees go and worked alone supporting her shop for six months. She turned her brick-and-mortar store into an online-only presence.
Implementing social media practices was a crucial asset in the marketing of the newly online shop. Promoting self-deliveries, pick-ups, and bidets for the customers who were condemned to their houses as well.
Self-deliveries done throughout the months of March through April 2020 sustained the business and kept it going. Allowing personal connection through an online presence restored loyal customers’ faith and boosted sales when buying non-essential goods was not a high priority.
Muse said bidets were a popular item on Animalia’s online presence.
Due to the shortage of toilet paper, not only loyal customers but also people seeking an alternative to their habitual cotton square leapt to Muse’s site.
With habits changing throughout the population, sustainability became a very popularized new way of living.
Getting back to nature and healing our planet was a big growth factor for Animalia. Muse said that throughout the pandemic her community grew largely in part due to fear but also due to loyal patrons.
Speaking of our local communities The Lady Bag had much success creating an online presence along with Animalia.
Anna Madsen, co-owner of The Lady Bag, said, “Small business had to work even smarter and harder to survive.”
Text messaging campaigns and email chains promoted used goods to women in need of an escape, Madsen said in a phone interview. Finance plans and purchasing of individual luxury items allowed relief for the community along with impactful business growth.
In a time where human connection was sought after, The Lady Bag created live video streams and personal meetings to provide the utmost support for its loyal customers.
The customer base grew significantly throughout the pandemic after the interactive and personal relation allowing for even more growth today, Madsen said.
With more than 100 new customers and a booming social media platform, The Lady Bag has never been more successful.
Production costs and manufacturing issues created hardships. However, rather than focusing on those unpredictable moments, these businesses are proving that challenges can lead to the utmost success.
“My dad always taught me that if you follow your passion the money will follow,” Madsen said when asked about the personal stressors the pandemic had on herself.
Jennifer Johnson, founder of Pro Do Blow-dry bar, had to shift her customer service practices completely to accommodate her business’s new virtual presence.
Creating environment through hands-free communication consisted of drones delivering gift cards to loyal customers. The cameras recorded joyful reactions, which were uploaded to social media and uplifted others by promoting the company’s efforts.
Pro Do Blow dry bar pairs the desires of entrepreneurship with the passion of making women in the community feel beautiful in their own skin.
For Johnson, customer service has always been the top priority for her clients. “It’s not about money or hair, it’s about creating an experience for the customer.”
During the pandemic customer service has grown far more than Johnson could have imagined. Employees stuck by her side and implemented the new practices to create an even better environment.
The efforts of Johnson’s employees and marketing paid off. Customers of Pro Do Blow-dry bar requested a continuance of their monthly memberships just to support the business through its hard time, even though they couldn’t reap the benefits of the program.
Community becomes the entire business model in a time of uncertainty such as the pandemic companies went through last year.
Even in such an unknown time we still manage to pull through, Muse said. There’s a 1% chance that we will ever know what happens or comes our way, she said, but we still have optimism and make it work no matter what.
With busier days, mass markets, and elevated numbers these three shops are now more than ever thanking the pandemic for a new perspective and booming business.