There are many things that happen when a tree falls into your shop. The first thing that happened in my case was experiencing an overwhelming sense of relief when I learned that the people who were inside during the storm were safe. After that, there is a chaotic burst of activity. There are immediate decisions that need to be made and immediate actions that need to be taken. Everything that needs to be done seems to have the same pressing urgency…move the merchandise away from the rain that is now coming in through the ceiling…tarp whatever you can, secure a space for storage… gather up some boxes and vehicles…call the insurance company.
But then this other thing happened all by itself…the word got out- and suddenly there was a team of people, some of whom I don’t even know by name who appeared just to help. They brought tarps, and vehicles, they put together boxes, they packed, they moved heavy cases out of harms way, they brought cool heads, bottles of water and great comfort.
It took the entire staff working very long days to carefully and fully pack up the shop and move it into storage. People brought by food and treats to us on our long packing days. As it became apparent that the repairs would take a significant bit of time, we began to look for ways to generate some income.
We had offers from many locally owned businesses for temporary space for us to sell our merchandise. These offers came from our neighbors in Midtown, but also from businesses in Market Square and Railroad Square. We had bands contact us offering to play music if we needed to have a benefit. We have always have felt very connected to our community, but we never realized how connected our community felt to us. I can’t begin to describe how fortunate we feel.
We chose not to have any benefits, but to try to remain “creatively employed” with the Pop-Up Shops. Our first was hosted at Krewe De Gras. From there, we set up at Lucy and Leos Cupcakery and this week we are at Midtown Manor. It is pretty hard work to pack up, transport and unpack over and over again. Somehow though, we have had so much fun as a team doing this. We have been so graciously welcomed, that I can honestly say it has been a pleasure. We get to see our loyal customers and friends and family. Some left without purchasing merchandise, but tucked donations into envelopes which we did not come upon until after they left.
With our warehouse storage unit full, my home became operation central for new arrivals. At this moment, boxes fill my dining room and we have a makeshift office. Every day we have a planning meeting and every day, new circumstances derail our plans, but they don’t derail our team. I am so proud of our staff at Quarter Moon. Everything–everything we have had to do, has been with met with a can-do attitude. They are seriously the best.
Yesterday a new opportunity presented itself. NAI TALCOR generously donated temporary storefront space to us in the Capital Plaza in Midtown. That is the plaza that houses Red Elephant and we are just a few doors west of them. We will have our last traveling Pop-Up Shop this Saturday at Midtown Manor near Finnegans Wake from 12noon-6:30pm and then we will move into our new temp space on Monday July 20th. We expect to have our regular hours there, but please stay posted on Facebook.
We are realistically 3 weeks from re-opening at Lake Ella. This week the internal structure of the roof was repaired and the shingles are on. Next week, the internal repairs in the actual shop that are the responsibility of the landlord will be finished. The following week will be spent on repairs that are our responsibility and then the third week we will transport all the merchandise back into the shop and get it set up. Our fingers are crossed for a Grand Re-Opening on Saturday August 8th. We can’t wait!
There are so many people to thank, it seems impossible but special shout outs to all friends and family. All of the daily calls and texts of concern and support have been wonderful even if I have not returned your calls! The team at NAI Talcor, Stephanie and Chris at Krewe De Gras, Jean and her team at Lucy and Leos, all of our new friends at Midtown Manor, Centennial Bank, our amazing groundskeeper/fix it guy, Tom at Lake Ella, Joe and Pete from Joes Bike Shop, Brenda and her team at Big Easy Snowballs, Bill Davis Contractor who showed up on that first stormy night to put up support beams so we would be safe, Ginny our landlady who has assembled a top notch fix it team, all the business owners who offered their help, our wonderful customers and of course the amazing group of superwomen I work with every day! I am sure I have forgotten to mention a few people here, but I assure you that every single gesture of kindness has been deeply felt.