Athens baby boutique grows throughout the pandemic

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:26 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - For businesses, surviving during the pandemic has been a challenge.

Many were forced to close up shop. A few businesses saw growth despite the pandemic. The owners of Toodlebugs, a baby boutique in Athens, report their business not only survived the pandemic but now they are experiencing growth.

Owner Melissa Anderson said the business originally opened back up under modified hours. Now, Toodlebugs has extended Saturday hours.

“We normally were open five days a week and we went down to two and a half days. We felt like the time was right to open up to our full capacity which is five days a week Tuesday through Saturday 10-5,” Anderson said. “We needed additional staff to cover those hours. During that time when we were open those two and a half days, we saw times where we needed 2-3 employees because we needed for gift wrap.”

Anderson said her shop is family-run and they’ve always prided themselves on treating customers like family. So when they had to close down during the pandemic it was hard.

“We first began having to close for a while so we were really concerned about that but once we were able to open back up we provided online shopping through Facebook, live programs every now and then,” Anderson said.

Additional Saturday hours are not the only change. The store hired an additional person to help with the increased workload. Anderson said the shopping experience was completely changed upon reopening. Online shopping through Facebook was a new addition for the store.

”It was easy for them to purchase online then we provided curbside pickup and could take their payments over the phone,” Anderson said. “Later on we were able to add VIP shopping experiences which is where the store would be closed to everyone else. It made them feel comfortable.”

Anderson said they are still offering the VIP shopping experience for those who feel more comfortable shopping by themselves. This is free of charge.

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