Innovation During Challenging Times On Lower Georgia Avenue
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Today we highlight two dynamic businesses that are key examples of the District Bridges value: Innovation.
Fia’s Fabulous Finds (806 Upshur Street NW) and Homestead (3911 Georgia Avenue NW) found innovative ways to quickly pivot their business model to meet the rapidly changing needs of their customers early in the COVID crisis.
When Safisha, owner of Fia’s Fabulous Finds, realized that COVID-19 may last longer than we all thought, she needed to find a way to continue her business without having access to her brick and mortar store. A self-admittedly “not social media savvy” person, she knew she needed to use a digital platform to sell her products. She observed several businesses using the Facebook Live tool for daily sales, similar to a Home Shoppers Network style sale, and thought it was a tool she could figure out. After hours of research, purchasing online marketing equipment, and curating a selection of items, she launched her very own Facebook Live sale.
Her first sale had about 12 participants and she sold 5 pieces. It was just the motivation she needed to keep going. Every week her sales got stronger, her attendance increased, and her reach got wider. Now she has customers all over the country, something she credits to Facebook’s far-reaching audience. Currently, all her sales are conducted through her Facebook live sales 3-4 times per week. She has even been able to hire a part time assistant, a DC resident, to help support her with marketing and outreach. Through her innovative thinking, her sales are back up to pre-COVID levels. She is grateful for the opportunity digital platforms provide and optimistic about the future of Fia’s Fabulous Finds.
Homestead used funds from the LGAMS Small Business Grants for materials to launch their Take Out and Delivery Program #Homeinstead. They purchased food containers that maintained the temperature of their food for at-home consumption and drink containers to allow for Take Out beverages, including cocktails. Receiving funds from the Main Street “helped them pivot their business model during a time when in-person dining was prohibited” due to the stay at home order. These funds were essential for a small business that needed to make rapid changes quickly in order to continue operations.
Often when people hear the term ‘Main Street’, they think about business corridors. But many people do not think about the stress and loneliness that many business owners experience while navigating the hurdles of entrepreneurship and running a business—especially during an unprecedented pandemic. Main Street programs all over the country work to make sure that business owners have an advocate and support system so that your favorite local coffee shop or tailor can keep their doors open. Help us continue doing our work by chipping in $10, $100, $1,000 by visiting districtbridges.org/donate.