As bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms are being forced to shut down or change their business models, retail stores on the North Fork are finding different ways to stay afloat while most people stay at home.
From jewelry stores to home decor shops, these businesses are adapting to a time that has proven to be critical. White Flower Farmhouse in Southold, a vintage store with a focus on home decor, is utilizing its Instagram as a way to continue the business and not put people at risk by coming out during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Every day, owner Lori Guyer is posting curated photos of what she has in stock in her Instagram stories. If one of her followers likes what she has and wants to purchase it, they can call the store and buy it with free local delivery.
“We put this plan together spur of the moment,” Guyer said. “We normally use Instagram to get people to come to the store, but we decided to use it differently to make people comfortable if they want something but can’t come to get it.”
White Flower Farmhouse’s Instagram has a following of over 50,000 and a quick scroll through the posts gives a clean, white, bright style reflective of the store.
“I’ve told our customers that if you’re looking for something and you want it, there is no hurry and we’ll get it for you and hold it,” she continued.
In each post, she said she tries to give as much information as possible, citing measurements and price, and arranged an agreement with a local delivery service so her customers can get their items delivered from Jamesport to Orient for free.
Nicolette’s For The Home, also in Southold, is taking a similar approach, offering free local delivery for items purchased online and phone orders for products seen on Facebook and Instagram. “We are doing this because we care about the safety of others and know that there are many folks coming out to stay here from the city and western Suffolk and Nassau,” said Amanda Giuliano, studio manager and lead designer. “To protect everyone’s health but also give them a great outlet to be creative at home, we felt this was the perfect blend.”
She added that they have felt the effects within the community.
“We are all small businesses and know we have to all get creative to stay alive during this time, too. So to respect social distancing but to be a happy outlet for our customers, this was the solution,” Guiliano said.
Orenda, a jewelry store in Greenport, is staying open, but only by appointment for personal shopping and customer order consultations.
“We know people still have special birthdays, weddings and occasions to celebrate, and we want to be here for them,” said co-owner Alexa Suess. For those who are still in the market for jewelry, but don’t want to leave their homes, the store is also offering free shipping and 15 percent off everything online.
“This is a critical time for small local businesses, and it’s so important we continue to support them,” Suess added. “You can do everything from sharing their social media posts to getting takeout to purchasing online and purchasing gift cards.”