XENIA — The COVID-19 shutdown in 2020 made a lot of small business owners figure out how they would survive.
Gypsy-Alley Boutique Owner Melanie Thomas also used that time to reboot and plan for 2021.
“It came with challenges such as paying the bills with no money coming in, but it gave me a chance to slow down,” she said. “Being literally forced to shut my store doors gave me time to work on new ideas and remember why I began this journey to begin with which is people.”
It was the community that helped Thomas and her business make it to 2021.
“When this country was faced with unexpected chaos, people came together,” she said. “I see this in the Xenia community. Customers who have over the years become friends offered encouragement and support when it was needed most.”
Moving forward, Thomas is learning to adapt to the times while focusing on things she can control.
“2021 looks different for my business because I choose it to,” Thomas said. “Just like any normal year, we all have had struggles both in small business and in personal life. Yes, my small business has suffered, and there are days where not a single customer walks through my doors. I still have rent to pay, and lights to keep on. Moving into this new year, I am focusing on little things, and trusting the big things will all work out. Small communities do overcome, and Xenia has an incredible track record of surviving and thriving.”
Thomas said area residents should continue to focus on locally owned businesses.
“I encourage all to think small when you need a service, a meal, an outfit, and a gift,” she said. “Every single dollar spent locally makes a difference, but what really keeps us going is seeing that you see our struggle, despite your own, and walk through our doors.”
Thomas, an Air Force veteran, opened her business four years ago. She labels it as being “A boutique with a twist!” It has a mix of boutique clothing, accessories, and bath and body products. Home decor for those who love farmhouse, vintage, and retro is included too.
Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534