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We’ve all heard of businesses either closing or being negatively impacted because of Covid-19. From big box retailers, to fast-food chains, and mom and pop shops across the country, Covid-19 has left a lasting and unforgettable imprint on our nation’s entrepreneurial landscape.
While Huntsville, Alabama certainly was not immune to COVID-19’s ill-affects, there are countless stories of success, ingenuity, and perseverance in the Rocket City that deserve to be told.
In this series, we will hear from incredible, courageous, and down-right clever small business owners in Huntsville; and learn how they were able to not only weather the storm, but in many cases, thrive, during a time where the odds were stacked against them.
One such business is May May’s Children’s Clothier located in Downtown Huntsville. I recently sat down with owner Megan Powe, to chat about her store opening just before the pandemic; and the challenges of she faced running her business during the shut-down.
“My name is Megan Powe and I’m owner of May May’s, Downtown Huntsville on Jefferson Street. May May’s is a children’s clothier. I tried to really focus on that aspect of it, really being a clothing store, not just a gift store or a boutique. I really wanted to be a clothier where we could style your baby, all the way to your twelve year old; for special events, birthday parties, anything and really try to be exclusive. If your child has it on in a size seven, there’s not going to be another kid that’s a size seven wearing that dress anywhere.”
“We try to stick to one size with every outfit and try to keep bringing in new things, constantly.
“Ironically enough, before the shut-down, we opened with the full intention of doing custom curated gift baskets. So, I had a bunch of baskets around and when we shut down, none of us, parents of customers were prepared for Easter. No one saw it coming.”
“So I just had this idea, where I thought, we could curate gift baskets without any contact; through messages on Instagram or Facebook with a budget, gender and whatever they wanted; and pull them together and we could deliver them.”
“We wrote names on all of them. We had bathing suits, books, and all types of accessories. It was the only thing I could come up with, with shut doors and no one could come in; was to pull together these Easter baskets and it was a huge hit. We delivered to Athens and New Hope, every single day through Easter; and even beyond it became that when new babies were born, friends and family couldn’t go to hospital or a baby shower, so the basket delivery really took off and definitely saved us!”
I asked Megan how things are going now with her business. She had this to say, “Things finally are beginning to feel normal. Absolutely having no help, no government loans because of my opening date; no grants no anything- it has been beyond hard. We’re here because of the support of this community. We do not have an online store, so have survived solely because of Huntsville and customers in surrounding communities.”