Andrea McGriff was already a big customer at Hobby Horse, a children’s clothing store, before she was even the owner. She says “It was just a one of a kind store and it had the type of clothing and stuff that I loved for my own children. Then it just became kind of a passion; I just loved everything about it!”
Since the start of COVID, McGriff reveals that she understands the restlessness many Americans have been feeling. “I think everybody’s kind of struggling…everybody’s gotten a little stir crazy. You want to get out, you want to go to restaurants and have dinner, things from normal life.”
She conveyed the uncertainty that many shop owners around the country are feeling. “Initially we didn’t know that much about the virus. We, like everybody, kind of thought it’ll go away soon.” McGriff said “When we got to a point where we had to shut down, that became another story.” She explained how huge this undertaking was, admitting that after her daughter found a website platform, they “had to literally inventory the entire store, [take] pictures of the merchandise, and upload it.”
The website wasn’t the only thing different for McGriff. “We go to market twice a year. That’s where you go and look at hundreds of different lines of clothing. You’re meeting with your reps face to face and you’re touching and feeling the clothes.”However, with an ongoing global pandemic things have changed. “We’ve had to do it all through Zoom or FaceTime and it’s very difficult, especially with newlines.” McGriff said. “You’re trying to order clothes, but colors don’t come across right. You don’t know what the fabric is. It’s just not the same as being there in person.” She reveals that this process would usually be completed in three days but since the change of regulations it has taken them three weeks!
Since McGriff has been able to open her doors, she has added regulations for wearing masks and social distancing. She adds that “People have been pretty responsive and it’s been pretty good!” McGriff gives a small note to those in business, adding a small lesson she has learned: “This has definitely taught me that you kind of have to roll with the times. You have to find innovative ways of doing things. I think if you love what you’re doing and you’re passionate about it, that’s the key to success.”