In these Small Business Stories, we revisit some of GoDaddy’s everyday entrepreneurs to see how they’ve pivoted their businesses to meet the current global crisis. With millions around the world still under stay at home orders, businesses are struggling. But, these savvy entrepreneurs saw this as an opportunity to do something different. Some digitized their operations, offering online shopping, delivery, and curbside pick up for the first time. Others began hosting online events to keep their community engaged and provide a bit of a distraction from daily stress.
Others forged headfirst into the fight against COVID-19, shifting their manufacturing businesses to make PPE for our frontline workers. These stories showcase the agility of our small business community, demonstrating how they can adapt and overcome even the most difficult situations. Check out their stories below!
In the wake of the pandemic, Ahana Yoga founder Dawn Feinberg didn’t hesitate to find a way to remain profitable and avoid the drain — she adapted her brick-and-mortar studio located in the heart of Miami’s Design District to become a premier online yoga studio. Staying true to the Ahana mission of connecting mind, body and spirit within their sweaty yoga practice, they infused a new type of flow by streaming online yoga classes to hundreds of remote yogis around the globe. And the response has been overwhelming. Being the extrovert she is (and used to interacting with over 100 students daily), Dawn has found the silver lining in the struggles of COVID-19 through the priceless gift of quality time with her family. Like she ends her practice, she offers words of hope to entrepreneurs to stay strong and believe in themselves during this rollercoaster of a journey.
John and Kendall Antonelli are more than just owners of the only cut-to-order cheese shop in Austin, Texas — they’re fine cheese experts who have been serving their beloved community for over 10 years. After COVID-19 cancelled the city’s annual SXSW festival, they put their heads together to make a plan for the extra cheesy goodness that had already been prepped. By offering online and over-the-phone orders for pickup, along with virtual pairing events for over 150 cheese-loving customers, the Antonellis have been able to keep their business afloat in these pandemic floods. This power couple encourages entrepreneurs to seek self-grace, stay positive and remember each day is a new day as they make tough business decisions.
Once cancellations started pouring in due to COVID-19, Sam Eitzen shifted gears quickly and spent all night brainstorming how to pivot SnapBar, a photo booth rental business. Seeing how local business owners were being impacted by the pandemic, the SnapBar team launched Keep Your City Smiling, a care package delivery service supporting small businesses and giving customers a reason to smile during these uncertain times. The care packages are filled with hand-picked goods from local shops — everything from yummy treats to skin care products and trinkets to fit your lifestyle. The success of the care packages has been overwhelming and Sam stands strong to ensure his team stays included in every part of the pivotal success they have created together throughout this pandemic.
Since 2016, Carina Chaz has been creating multi-purpose fragrant concoctions through her sustainable brand, DedCool — a 100% unisex, nontoxic and vegan fragrance company in Los Angeles. But March 13th is a day she’ll never forget. On top of finding herself face-to-face with the retail apocalypse (also known as COVID-19), this freaky Friday was also the last day in the office with her team and she had just launched a new detergent product. Despite production coming to a stop and customers holding on to their pockets during the pandemic, Carina quickly shifted her battle plan to utilize her strong eCommerce presence as a tool to sell sanitary essentials that her quarantined customers needed now. With much excitement, her solutions for new products have been a hit. By staying true to her mission for sustainability and green beauty, DedCool has become more than a personal fragrance brand — they strive for the greater good by generously donating proceeds to support impactful organizations like the CDC and Meals on Wheels.
Fueled by healthcare worker’s urgent need for protective gear, Angela Johnson and Sherri Barry gear up to make a bold move: transforming their nonprofit Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC) into a total PPE gown production center. The FABRIC team put their normal routine on hold to wholeheartedly dedicate their time and resources to research, development and production of CDC and FDA certified PPE gowns. Despite the low supply and high demand for the materials needed, Angela and Sherri overcome every challenge to do their part during this time of crisis. Thanks to the financial support of their community, they are able to expand their “war room” production and meet the demand of creating thousands of reusable medical gowns (25,000 per week!) to healthcare facilities across the nation. This humble and compassionate duo is both directly and indirectly impacting millions as they continue to do business with their heart and seek to accomplish the 1 Million Gown Challenge.
As Patti Curtis saw the COVID-19 storm rolling in, she knew she needed to start preparing her brick-and-mortar art gallery for a big adjustment — without knowing how big it would eventually become. Thankfully, she acted quickly enough to get photos of every art piece and adapt Fogue Studios & Gallery into an online store just before shelter-in-place orders took place. From closing the studio doors to receiving a grant to help support her struggling artists, Patti carries the torch to ensure her business and the artists stay safe during the pandemic. In order to keep the community engaged, Patti creates videos on social media to chat with art enthusiasts, showcase current exhibits and share fun things artists are doing while social distancing. Her advice for other entrepreneurs during these uncertain times is to jump on the train and start building a strong online presence in order to keep the dream alive.
Pre COVID-19, the GoodWood team made beautiful, handcrafted furnishings for commercial businesses. But the pandemic changed everything in a flash, causing GoodWood to completely pivot their everyday operations to build something else: face shields. From taking big financial risks to keeping everything locally-sourced and staying true to their sustainability mantra, GoodWood has successfully made over 30,000 FDA approved face shields for healthcare professionals — with a hefty goal of reaching 50,000 face shields per week (!) once they expand to a bigger manufacturing spot. Until this environmentally-conscious business can return to making nifty things with wood, they remain good stewards of their materials while supplying this high-demand product to those on the healthcare frontlines.
The world of production is opening back up. As you can see in these films there are a wide range of ways that you can still make really effective videos safely. If you have a project that you would like to discuss, drop us some details here and one of our experienced producers give you a call straight back.