It has been a wild week, hasn’t it? I don’t know about you but our heads have been spinning. I’ve meant to write sooner but we have been busy finding strong methods of social distancing, constant cleaning, and following all the CDC guidelines to implement daily in our stores.
All of us artists love to touch, feel, and use all of our senses with everything. As a store that has always encouraged touching the supplies it has been shocking to even consider discouraging that or following behind someone with a Lysol wipe and use hand sanitizer before and after each sale. We love letting you try out the pens, test drive the brushes, open the paint tube, and feel the paper. It has proved challenging to follow guidelines for social distancing in a busy store with many employees. Although we have been drastically changing things daily to follow the current guidelines it is increasingly difficult to know if we are doing the right thing or not.
We made the decision to close today at 3pm to assess our plans for moving forward. We apologize if this was last minute for any of you. This evening we made the difficult decision to remain closed for 3 weeks to do our part in keeping everyone safe. We have been trying to remain open and meet your needs for art supplies during this time of being at home but we also feel like we should be encouraging you to stay home. This has been difficult because we want to get you all the things you need to create for weeks indoors but we also want everyone to stay healthy. We take your health and well being in our stores very seriously and do not want to put you at risk.
For the next few weeks we will be cleaning our stores and coming up with brilliant plans to continue serving you. We are looking at online ordering, pickup curbside service, custom framing appointments, custom kits for kids crafts, shipping orders, and all kinds of creative ways that we can adjust our business to the current circumstances and meet your artistic needs. Like you, we have never been through this before and are unsure what our world will look like after this storm. What we do know is that we have proudly served this community for over 65 years and we can’t wait to get back to doing that soon!
We plan to keep all of our employees and pay them during this time. While that may be a tall order for us to fill if these uncertain times carry on too long, it is our plan for now. All we can do is take it one step at a time right now and hold on to hope that we can all get through it together. We would not be here without the hard work of our dedicated employees. Our amazing staff and loyal customers are the only reason we have been around so many years. I’m looking forward to moving through this crazy time together and getting to the other side soon.
As we all venture into the unknown I hope we can all take a deep breath, keep a clear head, find ways to hold on to hope, stay healthy, and make more art. I encourage you to take breaks from the news, listen to some good music, paint, draw, sketch, write, sing, dance, and don’t forget to drink lots of water and take care of yourself. As crazy and uncertain as all of this is- it’s always a good time to remind ourselves to slow down, unplug, and focus on what matters.
We are constantly full of gratitude for all that each of you do for us. We are thinking of you during this time friends, hoping you and yours stay healthy and remain safe.
Can't wait to see you all again soon!