Small business owner bouncing back during COVID
CALGARY -- Social distancing requirements for the pandemic put a halt to Lynnsy Plunz’s small business in mid-March.
For Plunz, working on crafts means a time for her to escape daily responsibilities and a small break from her three children. In 2018 she decided to share that passion with other moms when she launched a small business called Make It Night.
“I created ‘Make It Night’ so women could get away from it all,” said Plunz. “Their kids, their partners, their jobs, their routines and just connect with other women or even get some much need alone time while they make something easy and fun.”⠀
For a little over two years, she hosted workshops where groups up to 40 learned how to make a personalized craft for their home. It was very much a social event and the business became so successful, she hired extra teachers to supervise three workshops a night many weeks.
Plunz says her business was even starting the trade show circuit and hosting school fundraisers. But all at once, it ground to a halt because of COVID-19.
“Yeah in about three days, (there were) tons of tears just to be honest,” said Plunz.
Plunz says it was important for her to grieve her business, but then time to move on.
“And then you just kind of figure well this is chaos so I’m sure there’s creativity that can come from it,” said Plunz.
She knew there was still a demand for her crafts and switched to an online platform where people could order kits and she would deliver them.
“We just turned it around and did DIY (do-it-yourself) kits," said Plunz.. "We filled the need for people to take their mind off COVID - to be at home with their family, to be at home with their kids. (In fact), a lot of their kids helped do it.”
The reinvented business worked and became popular in its own right.
“People did tons of Zoom parties,” said Plunz. “So I would go and deliver them and then they would send me pictures of them all sitting on Zoom saying we did the craft night together.”
Plunz credits community and people wanting to support small businesses during the pandemic for her reinvented business that got a new name Tuesday to Our Little Makery.
She even hosted her first physically distanced, in-person workshop at the Balzac Brewery August 25th.
“We changed how we did everything,” said Plunz. “There’s multi-use things, everything is in a kit, everything is sanitized, (and there are) masks to keep everyone safe.”
Plunz says she’s listened to her clients in this challenging time and they’ve stepped up to support her and she’s grateful.
“Everyone always says Calgary is such a supportive community and they always have each others back and they always go out for people,” said Plunz. “But I just never thought people would embrace a stranger doing crafts.”
Now she’s paying it forward, hosting workshops for mothers and others who want to learn how to develop an idea into a small business.
Learn more about Our Little Makery here:www.ourlittlemakery.ca