“Thinking on your feet is good, but thinking
when you’re not on your feet is even better.”
~ Author Unknown
I don’t know anyone in the world who wanted to close their doors amid this horrific pandemic. It’s a terrifying thought – to lose connections in the face-to-face retail setting when doors are locked, and ‘closed’ signs are all around you.
Customers are the lifeline of businesses here in town – the warm and welcoming faces when we enter a store to shop an item are tantamount to a great experience that brings us back again and again.
This pandemic is relentless in upending our brick-and-mortar landscape, while state-mandated warnings of in-person interactions abound.
And, as we all know, Saratoga is all about close, personal contact with visitors and residents alike. We love to get to know people – shake a hand, touch an arm, hug a stranger who’s quickly become a friend.
Unfortunately, none of us knows when things will calm down and return to any sort of normalcy again.
Changing habits during this pandemic is hard – I, for one, love to walk into my favorite shops, pick up a book, taste a sample, try on a dress, handle a crystal, then pull out my wallet.
On the next page you’ll learn about a few of my go-to local places. The various ways shopkeepers are keeping in touch with visitors and loyal customers are pretty creative. I’m impressed.
Located on Broadway, is a favorite retail shop of many. The store has already started (or upped their game) with online virtual events featuring various authors. They also offer free shipping countrywide, as well as curbside pickup at their Vermont location.
SARATOGA TEA AND HONEY
This tea and honey shop just hit their five-year mark here in the Spa City. They celebrated with buy one-get one iced tea. Even though they’re not open to inside business right now, Saratoga Tea & Honey takes orders over the phone, with curbside pickup. They have an online event this weekend.
IMPRESSIONS OF SARATOGA
I love, love, love their unique idea of porch packages! A creative way to keep their business going – porch packages are delivered in reusable Saratoga totes, filled with locally made food products and Saratoga-specific items. Impressions of Saratoga offers pre-assembled packages with $25 or $50 price-points, or specialty packages you create yourself.
SARATOGA PAINT & SIP
A wildly popular night out with a date, sister, children, or bunch of girlfriends, the shop in Saratoga has come up with a neat way to paint & sip during this time of uncertainty. Take’N Paint Kits include everything you need to create masterpieces at home. They’re paid for online and picked up curbside.
SARATOGA CANDY CO.
This locally owned candy store is a Saratoga favorite. They’re still selling fine chocolates online and offer free shipping. I love that the shop just featured a Candy Co. Car Hop for Mother’s Day, which was a huge hit. Let’s hope they can do this more often – who doesn’t need chocolate, especially now!
VIOLET’S OF SARATOGA
Whoever thought that social media marketing would be so helpful in times like these? Violet’s of Saratoga has taken advantage of Instagram and Facebook, promoting virtual sidewalk sales. The specialty shop lists items, and customers get in touch when they see something they’d like to buy, picking their purchase up curbside.
Another downtown creator of unique marketing ideas, Deborah has the most wonderful things happening – all the time! – not just during Social Distancing. Check them out online for curbside or delivery.
One of my favorite shops on Broadway. What do you do when you have to close a shop like this, though? Thinking outside the box, Tushita Heaven hosts events like live shows on Facebook, Tuesday nights at 7 p.m., where they feature and sell various crystals.
We all look forward to the Pammy Post (to know Pam is to love Pam!) We see the cutest items – and their sizes - and then she offers them at greatly reduced prices! It’s (almost) as fun as shopping the store (but we miss the hugs!) Check her out on Instagram and facebook for curbside or delivery.
LIFESTYLES OF SARATOGA, CAROLINE + MAIN AND UNION HALL.
Heidi is a force and her three shops downtown are destinations in themselves, (and her window displays are epic!) As of press time, she was prepping for a Virtual Sidewalk Sale… Check them out on facebook and Instagram!
lifestylesofsaratoga.com, carolineandmain.com, unionhallsupplyco.com
You might know these shops well. Or you might have your personal favorites to frequent. Today, this very minute, is the time local shops need us most – and we can help make certain brick-and-mortar stores are still in business when the Corona Virus is a distant nightmare by spending locally.
Saratoga has always been about caring for the community where we live. We’ve always cheered on the underdogs, celebrated the victories, savored the rich history and culture of our city.
When the time comes, and it will, for our commercial doors to open again, I think the emotion of 2020 is going to catch us off-guard. I’m voting for tears of joy – gratefulness in knowing there were ways we all jumped in to help flatten the curve and keep our town, our home, alive.