Thursday, 30 April 2020 13:29

Small Business Reinvent During COVID-19

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Just as local eateries convert to online orders and to-go options, other small businesses reinvent themselves to adapt to the ever-changing times.

Something Bleu Bridal reinvented the bridal dress shopping experience, introducing two types of appointments for brides to be. Owners Kathyrn Metzler and Marissa Mackay developed concierge bridal appointments and Zoom party bridal appointments for brides to find their wedding gown, while still following social distancing guidelines. 

“These new appointments are unconventional but can still be enjoyed. You should still feel like you’re getting some of the bridal experience that you pictured in your mind,” Mackay said. “We wanted to discover a way to be in business when we are not allowed to be in business as we were.”

The concierge appointments includes a personal Zoom consultation where the bride can choose up to five gowns. Those five gowns are then transported to the bride to try on in the privacy and safety of their own home. Deliveries of the dress will be made within one-hour of their store location and dresses can be held for 24-hours. 

“The idea of having a concierge appointment seemed like the most natural way that we can service our brides in a really custom fashion with all of the conditions the world is in,” Mackay said. 

Zoom Party Appointments have become a permanent fixture for the boutique. Currently, Mackay and Metzler use the appointment to provide the bride a customized service at a distance. They use the appointments to gain a feeling towards the aesthetic the bride would like on their wedding day. However, they plan to use Zoom to include family and friends who live farther away in the bridal experience once social distance restrictions are lifted.

“Personal connection is really important to us, so we make sure that the consultation portion of the appointment is as close as possible to the experience of shopping in our store, including a tour of our collection, time spent getting to know the bride and her style, and the opportunity to choose from among our large collection of dresses and accessories for an at-home try on,” said Mackay in a release.

So far three brides have participated in the concierge and Zoom bridal appointment. Mackay said they all went well, as the brides were shopping for their upcoming wedding and all found a dress they love.

Something Bleu Bridal isn’t the only local business that has reinvented to serve the community. Local eateries, bakeries and deli’s have became contact free establishments. Finding shopping staples such as eggs, milk and flour can be purchased at food eateries in the community. The Bread Basket Bakery is offering call-in orders for flour, sugar and yeast. They also offer bread delivery through Battenkill Valley Creamery. Another eatery, the Spring Street Deli & Pizzeria, created a grocery menu with popular grocery items that people can order and pick-up. Both stores allowing delivery or pick-up cuts down of social contact, creating a safer environment than a larger supermarket.

For projects to do at home, Saratoga Paint and Sip are offering take home projects, called Take ‘N Paint Kits. Starting at $25, the curbside pickup kit contains everything needed to create the paintings. They also offer a private Zoom room, where an artist will instruct the group through the project.

For dog owners, North Country Paws for Obedience is offering a train at home online session starting in May. Based in South Glens Falls, the online courses are described as interactive, informative and engaging. Interested parties can sign up online.

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