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June 18, 2020
Life has a way of throwing you curve balls.
We are currently living in a very trying time and unprecedented time. I am an artist and small business owner. I love making jewelry. I love my storefront. I love my customers. I love my family more. These are the thoughts that are rolling around in my head.
Retail business is hard. Retail business in these times is really, really hard. We have had to adapt and change to be able to pay the bills. As a small, independent one person business I don't have a staff of people to fill in when I can't. I have a few people who do help man the storefront to who I will be forever grateful.
In a typical week for the storefront I have to make sure we have inventory to sell, make sure the open hours will be staffed, make sure the store is clean and safe, market to the general public to make sure we have customers. I have to do the paperwork so people and bills get paid. I have to file taxes monthly.
In a typical week for my jewelry I have to see what orders need completed, order the raw materials to make said pieces, then make the pieces. I also need to market the jewelry to make sure we have customers.
I can't even tell you how many hours that is a week. It is way more than 40, so much of the paperwork and marketing work are done from home after working hours. It is a lot and you have to love to do it or you wouldn't be doing it.
Then you hope you have chosen well and that you will have enough sales to pay the monthly bills. Some months you do, some months you don't. When you don't, you use personal money to pay the bills and hope you will make it up in another month.
That, in a nutshell is the life of a small, mom & pop business owner. Some only do one of the two, I juggle both. I am not complaining, I really love doing what I do when times are normal. Now we throw in a pandemic that has changed the landscape. You make adjustments, you try to switch to more online. You offer curbside service. You do everything you can to make it through to the next month.
Now, in the middle of all of this, my daughter ended up in the hospital on Memorial Day. We though she had COVID, she was struggling to breath. She was sleeping all day. She did not have a fever or cough. I took her to the emergency room, she is 19 so I cannot enter with her due to COVID restrictions because she is an adult. I sit in the parking lot waiting for texts or calls from her updating me on what is happening. Then I am asked to come in by the doctor. She doesn't have COVID, they believe she has type 1 diabetes. What? How? all these things go through my head. Then they tell me they are transferring her to another hospital by ambulance. I will not be able to go because she is an adult and due to COVID restrictions there are no other people allowed in the hospital. I was able to wait with her until the ambulance got there, kissed her good bye and told her to text me when she got to the hospital then I got in my car and drove home, with the tears flowing.
She was in the hospital for 4 days. She had multiple IV's so it was hard for her to text or use the phone because of this so we had minimal updates. Those were the hardest 4 days of not knowing what was happening, what she was being told, and how she was doing. I called the nurses for updates but that just isn't the same.
She is home now, doing well but we all have a huge learning curve. For her how to manage this and for us how to support her and help her. We have lots of follow up dr. visits and education.
Why did I share all this? Because on top of my business, this kind of thing stops your world on a dime. I just couldn't do everything. I tried really hard to put out the fires, to do the most urgent but at the end of the day, things fall through the cracks. I am trying really hard to get caught up, to get re-organized, to give the other parts of my life the attention they need. I guess I felt the need to share so you understand, I am not just procrastinating. I am trying to work as fast as I can in the time I have but I am just one person. And as a one person business, things happen that disrupt what you think is a great system. It causes your estimate of completion times to change, your organization to get off track and your focus gets disrupted.
These are trying times for everyone, so I just ask of you to have grace and patience with everyone, you just never know what really is happening with them.
June 20, 2020
Zack let me know when your girl was dx’d, it was so upsetting to us! I have been praying for your family. As you know from their friendship, choir and SC vacation, he has Type1 as well. It is a huge life change for a family. Know that Zack and I are always here for support. Niki
The pandemic alone was enough to throw everyone’s lives out of whack. I can not even imagine having to go through a child’s hospitalization during this time. But, Elena is a strong and awesome young woman like her mom, and I have no doubt you all will adapt and adjust. Praying for strength and happiness for you all! ❤️
June 19, 2020
Oh, Pam, praying for Elena and you all!
June 18, 2020
Pam and Mike,
I am so sorry your daughter, and both of you, are going through such a tough time. If any family can handle this situation you would be my number one choice.
My husband, Bill, has been a diabetic since 1966 and you will soon learn your routine. We were surprised she was diagnosed with type 1 because we always thought that was for younger ones. Jeff Bell’s daughter was diagnosed when she was very young so she adapted to it for her way of life at an early age but it will be a big change for all of you.
Pam, your article was such an outpouring of love for all you do and I’m so glad you shared it with us.
Prayers for all of you,
I sincerely thank you for sharing. Elena is a very special young lady. I have such heartwarming memories of her in my first grade class. Please let me know if I can help in any way. My youngest son with diagnosed with diabetes when he was 14. Taking insulin, going to school, and playing sports was a huge adjustment for him, and our family. Strength overcame the problems. So sorry you all are experiencing this life change. Prayers to all!
Oh Pam, We are so sorry to hear this! We will, of course, keep you all in our prayers, but if there is anything else we can do to help with everyday things, don’t hesitate to ask. So difficult for a young woman looking forward to college and all that means, and so difficult for a Mom who can’t make it go away. We know you both, and the rest of your family, will do whatever it takes to make it work. Hugs to go with the prayers!
I KNOW HOW HARD THAT MUST OF BEEN HEARING THAT NEWS. I’M TYPE 2 AND MY MOM WAS TYPE 1. KEEP YOUR CHIN UP. PRAYERS FOR YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER ❤️🙏
Oh my gosh!! That sounds so scary! I am so sorry ! Thanks for sharing 💗💗
So at the beginning of this, I’m thinking “Amen sister!” But then I just started crying. I can’t even imagine. You are an amazing, giving, loving, dedicated woman and a super mom!!
Thank you for all you do for your fellow merchants downtown!!!
omgosh pam … cannot imagine and am in total awe of how you maintained. and in the midst of all that, you were able to still bring happiness to so many[I, amongst them!] thru your work. you and yours will be in my prayers. for E’s health and for strength. your circle is great, pam. lean on them.
As a small business owner ( the weathered birdhouse) you are so right about all this. I just opened in mid October and the Covid-19 hits, WoW I just did the best I could, and so have you. You just keep on going and making all your beautiful things and you will be fine, I’m praying for all our businesses to start to just flourish!!
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hold steadfast; He gives you what you can handle. Stay strong❤❤❤
I can Not begin to imagine what you all are going through or all of the work it is going to take to “make” all of it happen in your new normal. What I do know is the you are a great Mom with lots of love to give. You have a wonderful family and about a million friends who are here to help. Stay strong !!! Ask for help!! Sending you hugs and prayers!! You got this ❤️❤️
Pam… I did not know!! I hope she is doing ok..it is a whole new life style.. I was diagnosed 3 yrs ago with type 2 and had to learn a new way of eating.. I cannot imagine dealing with type 1!! Prayers and hugs! call if you need anything..🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️
Prayers for your family Pam. I did not know about your daughter’s diagnosis. Jessica Stout is a wonderful mom/parent of a type 1 child if you need someone to reach out to in the near future. 🙏🙏
Life is tough! Owning a business even tougher! Managing family and business toughest of all. If you ever need any help don’t hesitate to ask. Been there!
Continued love and strength being sent to you and your family. 💕 Thank you for sharing your story.
Big hug to you Pam. This made me cry thinking how tough that had to be for you. You are a great mom, talented artist, and a good lady too!
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