Voices of Gallery Owners from Around the Country
by mary kesler on Apr 24, 2020
Voices of Gallery Owners from Around the Country
As some of you know a large part of Davin and Kesler’s business is selling to shops, galleries and museum stores around the country. We have sold to many of these stores for over 20 years. We’ve shared life's milestones together. New babies, grandchildren, graduations. And of course the joys, hard work, and excitement of being a small business owner.
A few weeks after the corona virus crisis started shutting down our country I sent a newsletter to them. I asked
“What does your day look like? What are you doing to cope?" And importantly "Where do you want your business to be at the end of this crisis?"
Many owners shared their stories with me. I decided to share those stories in a follow up newsletter. What I received back was an additional group of owners sharing their stories.
Connection and information, not feeling isolated is important right now. I’ve struggled with what to do with all these shared stories. I've decided to archive them in this blog where anyone who wants to can read them. I’ve attached links to as many of their websites as I can. Feel free to leave a comment if you like. I will update this as galleries begin to reopen and we can discover what our new normal will be.
Following are the stories:
We are coming into the gallery every day just like we have done for the past 32 years. Business is shut down so we are taking the time to clean out our bank of filing cabinets (which has not been done in nine years) and we have organized our picture framing I am creating a new website (moving from my old StoreFront site from 1998 to a new Shopify site) which is a work in process, not to be confused with progress. Over the years we have experienced many "business interruptions". And yet, we are still here...loving what we do and keeping on...we are people of faith and not fear. One of the interesting things with all this going on is that we are having a beautiful spring. Nature does not seem concerned.
Wally - Smith Galleries
Like so many other small businesses, Childhood’s End has been closed for the last few weeks. We are adapting and promoting our artists' work on our social media accounts, as well as sending out weekly newsletters to our ever growing contact list. Our website also will host “virtual exhibitions” in lieu of the real thing, as well as show off work in window displays at our retail location. We are very lucky to already have an online store presence comprised of our artists' fine work. We’ve been doing a lot of back-end revising to make sure it’s working smoothly for patrons to support a small business like ours, and by extension, every one of the artists we represent.
Richenda-Childhood’s End Gallery
Keep sharing joy. We do need to place an order, so we will get that in soon.
We have been completely closed and no foot or car traffic. I have not been at the gallery so I cannot take care of phone calls, or emails. I am hoping that if we open sometime in May and I can do something to get rid of my current inventory then I can get something new for June.
Michael - Gallery One
When this passes, we will order and get back to business.
Anna - Amano Gallery
I don’t go in daily but we are still doing business by phone and I have packages and gift certificates to send out.
Ally Bally Bee is a sideline passion for me, but I’m really a research scientist.
Since the 12th March I have been working round the clock with the head of Yale pulmonary medicine (he is responsible for all the COVID icu beds at Yale) to design and deliver a clinical trial for a drug to protect the lungs from the damage that COVID19 causes and ultimately kills people.
We are racing against the clock to get the drug to the clinicians and chasing down every dollar to help fund the trial. Every hour seems like a lifetime. A little bit more in the link below.
I hope you are staying home and safe. https://news.yale.edu/2020/04/03/yale-fibrosis-drug-may-offer-new-treatment-path-covid-19-lung
Morag-Ally Bally Bee
Glad that you’re safe and well. Will look forward to ordering when this breaks.
Greg-Vermont Artisan Designs
We just don’t know what the new normal will look like. I really cannot imagine being in the gallery and wearing a face mask while helping customers choose/purchase art.
We are now in week 3 of being closed. I’ve gone in a few times to take care of some accounting which feels good in the moment just to be there and feel like I’m accomplishing something. But there is such sadness each time I leave in not knowing when we will really be back. Doing a fair amount of yoga thru zoom. We (zz girls) even had a very silly zoom dance line party on Saturday! Was so good to see their faces!
Diane- Stix & Stones
I am working harder than ever to save my small business. Such a hard time in NYC.
I am working remotely from upstate and selling jewelry!
I’m doing some really cool projects on my website, one of which is selling crafts that former employees are making at home.
The maker drop ships to the customer and gets 75% of the proceeds.
Love you guys and hope you and your kids are healthy and are staying sane in these crazy times.
See you on the other side.
Wish I had the slightest idea.
Lori - Nohea
Patricia - Touched By Green
After nearly 19 years I consider so many of my artist partners friends, and I pray for us all. We've seen ups and downs and many of us have had to reinvent ourselves and our businesses. Me included. So with all this free time right now, I'm focused on cleaning up my office (purging 20 years of files), tending my neglected gardens, and being creative!
I have been working hard to fill out government forms wondering if I am doing it correctly. Then I have been sitting back waiting, and waiting, and waiting. So far our PPP has been confirmed, but no forms have been sent out to secure the loan/grant. No word on the emergency disaster loan yet.
Perhaps the most eye opening event for me was filing for unemployment. I have been part of the workforce for over 60 years, have changed jobs a number of times before joining Sue at Capitol Craftsman, but I had never ever had to file for unemployment. I guess there is always a first time for everything.
The rest of the staff has been laid off. So I only go occasionally to check the mail and try to figure how to pay the bills. It is like trying to get blood out of a stone! No business means no money.
If it weren't for all of the stress and worry about my staff and the future of the business, I guess all of my "at home" time would be like retirement!! Not quite. . .
We are trying to stay positive, but it is difficult . . . not sure where we will be when things settle down! Just trying to get through, like every other American small business who was struggling before this pandemic.
We painted the gallery, shampooed the carpet, doing inventories, working on social media (I really lack skills in this dept) and of course, cleaning out etc etc. Our governor just extended the "stay at home order" to May 26. What the heck???? Let's be safe but geeze give us some sort of hope...
Well, we certainly are in an unexpected and uncertain time, aren't we? Our employee Bob who is 91 years young says he hasn't seen anything like it in his lifetime. April is typically one of our busier months due to the tulip farms in the area which put on a fantastic show. Of course, the tulips don't know any different, so they're gorgeous as usual; but we can't take advantage of them for business this year. We plan to reopen as soon as we are allowed to do so. But of course, we will not know how quickly that will happen. Together we will get through this and emerge with new creativity and strength.
Mark and Deb-Wood Merchant
As you know, we were looking forward to retirement after one more terrific ski season & summer. Those plans, like most all else, are now on hold. Right now we are grateful for our health, Mother Nature & each other. Eventually we’ll see what the future holds – until then stay healthy my Friend
Anonymous gallery owner
Thanks to all of you who have shared your stories with us
Mary and Tom