If you've been following us for any length of time, then you likely remember that last year? Things looked ... bad. We were caught in the middle of a construction project that was hurting business and slated to run WELL over the originally stated time and, as a result, business was at an all-time low. All of the shops and eateries downtown -- the lifeblood of a thriving community -- were suffering; we didn't know if we'd make it.
What we did know, however, is that people would want to know how bleak it was. We knew that the people who love the store as much as WE love it would want us to tell them that we needed help. Jenny wrote an AMAZING Facebook post to let our community know that we needed help, that all of the downtown businesses that we all value and rely on need help, and that we were in danger of having an amazing new bridge but no small businesses.
Y'ALL. You rallied around us all in a way that was amazing and heartwarming. You kept us going. You made sure that you did your shopping and dining in ways that, big and small, supported your locally owned businesses and made sure that our downtown -- our gorgeous, vibrant, amazing downtown -- stayed strong.
It's been about a year. Today is a beautiful day -- the sun is shining, it's going to be about eighty-five degrees, and I walked in to the sounds of birds singing and the distant chime of the railroad crossing. I walked over our newly renovated bridge and could hear the water running below it and the roar of the falls under the Mill. Traffic passed through easily, with plentiful parking spaces lining both sides of the street.
It's a beautiful day and we're still here.
Please don't think that our local businesses have all recovered from the deficits that the construction caused, because we haven't. It takes a long time to bounce back from that kind of drop in business. As my nana used to say, "Keeping your head above the water is NOT the same as swimming". We've kept our heads above the water. With your continued support and patronage, we are looking at the possibility of swimming -- moving forward, expanding our offerings, and finding more ways to make your gift giving experience exemplary and fun.
We're all in this together. Let's grab hands. Ready?