There is no doubt that for all the fabulous businesses in Coronado and around the world, March 2020 will go down in history as one of the toughest times in retail history. Here is the perspective of one local retailer, Elizabeth Paganelli, owner of Fair Trade Décor.
What’s it like to own a small retail business, you ask? Some days, I’m excited to open boxes, see my new inventory and work fast to get them tagged and onto the floor. I hope my customers love my selections, and I wait with anticipation for the first sale! That’s what many retailers do, and we enjoy the challenges and rewards. We love satisfying our customers, providing them with unique products and service. Fast forward to COVID-19, and overnight we’re all closed indefinitely. Now all we can do is be in this together, work on social distancing, do our best to save lives and remain hopeful until we can return to business.
My husband Jude and I decided to make a 20-hour beeline for Seattle, Washington. Why? Because our daughter and son-in-law are working from home while their nanny is sheltered in place. This was my opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade. My retail hat came off… My Nana hat went on. Trust me, babysitting an 18-month-old, no matter how much you love her, will rival any retail schedule!
While goods were still arriving, Coronado resident and sales associate, Corinne Coury, came to the rescue! Corinne unpacked, received and tagged it all by herself, and I could not be more grateful.
In the meantime, I eagerly dove into the world of social media and website development. Although, Fair Trade Décor already had a good website, I saw a perfect opportunity to improve on it; including having fun with blogging. Fortunately, Sasha Wong, Coronado High senior and employee at Fair Trade Décor brought her talents and enthusiasm to the table.
Sasha and I added many new products to the website. We learned how to sell our products on Facebook and Instagram, which has turned out to be very exciting and successful. Sasha utilizes her exceptional writing and technology skills to create posts, web content and ads, and she gets the job done quickly! All this via ZOOM, due to 1300 miles of social distancing. Of course, it goes without saying how grateful I am for local opportunities to advertise such as: Coronado Chamber of Commerce, The 92118, Island Girl and Coronado Times to name a few.
The store is now officially open for Pick-Up.
It’s easy. Just shop our window, website, Facebook, Instagram, or call Elizabeth at 619.675.0072 to place orders, and she will ship anywhere in the continental US for free or deliver in Coronado for free. Fair Trade Decor will follow all safety protocols to protect you and our employees.
During Phase 2, our hours for pick-up are:
Tuesday-Friday 3:00PM-5:00PM and Saturday 1:00PM-3:00PM
Fair Trade Décor is located at 828 Orange Avenue in Coronado