How Local Lyons Businesses Have Adapted to the Pandemic
National news stories abound covering how the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has affected global and national economies. The pandemic has strained small businesses like never before, creating economic fallout in many communities and towns. The U.S. Small Business Administration opens its website linking to information on how to deal with the pandemic and how to find guidelines, resources and apply for disaster loan assistance. What we may not have heard, in a personal way, is how local Lyons businesses are coping and getting by.
In Lyons, we have already lost two local treasures when Reruns shut its doors in June, citing that spring and summer are usually the times that business picks up, and, the Lyons Fork announced July 18, 2020 as their final day. Despite the sad local losses there is an overall sense that our neighbors want to help each other and contribute to the survival of our small businesses during this challenging time.
From Rosey’s Rescues to Metamorphosis, our community has faced a lot of hurdles, from mandatory closures to shaky reopenings, our local businesses have had to creatively figure out the new normal. The Stone Cup shared what it is like to work “twice as hard for less than 50% of the income.” Lucid Beauty talks about being inventive and creative to stay afloat.
Lyons residents have a number of ways they can help support our local economy during this time. Four businesses below open up about the challenges they have already tackled and address current difficulties they continue to face and highlight how we can help.
Rosey Floyd drove through Lyons en route to Estes Park in the late 1970s and found something magical about the town. Right then and there she knew she would get back here, and indeed she did. Rosey and her husband, Jim, soon built their dream home in the foothills of Lyons Park Estates, moving here from Oklahoma 37 years ago.
For decades, Rosey worked in high tech, specifically in customer service, finding it unfulfilling, and prayed for a sign for what to do with her career. At 62 she decided to take a leap of faith and start her own business. The universe had a plan for her. See, Rosey has the talent for picking up something from the side of the road and turning into a treasure. Her favorite finds are vintage and antiques—she takes something discarded and with a little TLC gives it a new life, turning it into something she hopes will last another 20 to 30 years. The building Rosey rents for Rosey’s Rescues is an old mining log cabin that was relocated to Lyons in the late 1800’s and used as a garage until she converted it into the shop it is today. This is a perfect example of how she repurposes something old and gives it new life.
Many of Rosey’s customers are tourists, but she has seen an uptick in individuals (local as well as traveling) coming into her shop wanting to help small businesses since the pandemic—in fact, her inventory is low.
Having worked for so many years in customer service, Rosey runs her shop with a different philosophy; usually with used items or antiques for example, they are sold as final sale, but not with her, she wants her customers to be happy.
Rosey has an uplifting story of how the pandemic has affected her. During the shutdown she encountered in March, she “went crazy” picking up things that needed work—she began painting, sanding, and kept busy creating rather than listening to the news. She reopened in May and picked right back where she left off, with changes of course, such as allowing two customers in at a time. She has found that many of her customers are happy to oblige by the new rules, but it is a challenge figuring how to implement such rules—on top of running a store she now has to request that people wait outside in a line, at a social distance, use hand sanitizer, and wear a mask.
“I feel the support of the community now more than ever”
~ Rosey Floyd
Rosey’s Rescues got a grant from Lyons Community Foundation, which she said was so touching and the best moment she has experienced since the pandemic. It has got her thinking about ways she could get more involved in the Lyons community and how she can give back. She used the grant to get through the difficulties of the closure. “It was incredibly hard to continue to pay rent and utilities and to get personal protective equipment (PPE)” she says. The grant made her feel that the town has faith in her and helped her feel more a part of the community.
Rosey says the best way Lyons community can support her business is to stop by or check her out on Instagram. She is good at keeping things moving and fresh so she is constantly moving inventory through on a weekly basis. She is open to working with our Lyons community and will sometimes do a trade or work out a payment plan. Her pieces mean a lot to her, so she will work with people to find them a new home.
Rosey’s Rescues is online at Etsy and Poshmark, or visit Rosey in person at her shop at 343 Broadway St. pm Thursday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Jami Kauffman has lived in Lyons almost five years and has been an esthetician for 20 years. Connecting and caring deeply about the people she meets is what got her started with her business, Lucid Beauty—which is devoted to skin care, anything from acne to wrinkles. Her industry is all about touch. “Touch is healing,” she says, and this is the aspect of her business she loves, which draws her in and keeps her going. As you can imagine touch has been a difficult thing to do since the pandemic began.
More than two years ago, Jami started her own business when she realized her kids were all in school. She opened up Lucid Beauty in a spare room in her home that has a separate door for its entrance. She offers many services from eyelashes, facials, tinting, waxing to collagen boosters for dry Colorado lips. Word of mouth has been her most effective tool for growing her business.
The quick rise of the coronavirus took Jami by surprise in March when she learned she had to shut down her business completely. Her industry highly regards safety and sanitation, “it’s what is taught at school and what state boards do” she says, to keep up to date on sanitation practice and policies in order to keep clients safe. Jami took the time off as an opportunity to continue education and training in her field. She took a bikini waxing class and also attended an online disinfectant training course.
Even after reopening, Jami found it stifling to force a client to wear a mask, “you cannot do a facial when a client has a mask on”, she noted. The pandemic has forced her to be inventive about how she can continue to support her clients, anything from holding Zoom calls to making at-home packages for clients.
Now masks have been lifted for clients and Jami can do facials again. An advantage Jami has over large salons is that it’s just her and she allows one client at a time, she wears a mask, and the client comes into her space, so she can keep space sanitized and clean. Some clients have come back and others, she notes, “are still unsure.”
Throughout the past several months, Jami has felt Lyons has been a very supportive community to live in. “I’ve had an outpouring of people, neighbors, checking on me, asking how I’m doing” she says.
Jami received a Lyons Share grant organized by the Lyons Community Foundation with contributions from the Town of Lyons, and St. Vrain Market among other donors. She had an equipment loan, so grant was a huge help covering some of those payments. “I’m amazingly grateful to the Lyons community” she says, for the help she received during this time.
Lucid Beauty can create customized packages for Lyons residents. For people not leaving their homes Jami offers At-Home Facial Packages tailored to specific needs, or eye gel masks for headaches, foot peels, and more. She carries various skincare lines, if someone needs a cleanser or moisturizer she can provide these retail items. Residents can also help by spreading the word about her business, just mentioning her name will be a way to support what she does during these uncertain times.
Metamorphosis Tattoo Studio opened up four years ago in Lyons, and was founded by Serina Malec. Originally from Arizona, Serina started tattooing as an apprentice when she was 17, and has continued in the industry for ten years since, most recently working in the Boulder area before setting up shop in Lyons. Serina moved to Lyons to be one step closer to the mountains and she loves the small community and its appreciation of art. “It may be different to have a tattoo shop in a small town,” she says, but when she opened, she was confident it would work with the strong relationships she could build, and the surrounding nature.
One of the ways Serina’s studio is different is that “I created my shop to be a gallery type space and also a tattoo space, accepting tattooing as art” she says. And while Serina is the sole owner of the studio, she hosts a collective of artists so clients have a broad range of options. For example, Serina loves color work, while other artists focus on black work, or new age tribal, or illustrative line work. Serina’s deep appreciation and respect for art means each artist has their own thing.
The biggest hurdle Serina and the collective of artists working at Metamorphosis have overcome was the mandatory closure. Serina said, “some artists are 20 plus years in the tattoo industry and can’t go into another art realm, and some people can’t buy art when they are just buying necessities.” Many of the other artists had side projects, but none as profitable as tattooing.
One way Serina stayed in touch with her team was to have a meeting every week, “it was hard…when we were used to seeing each other regularly.” During their meetings they would discuss grant opportunities or other resources. They each had more time to work on their personal art. For Serina, personally, being less busy gave her time to work on herself as an artist and do things for her general health like gardening, which she hopes to continue to practice in this new balance of life and work.
Once they were able to reopen, Serina said, “coming back to work was difficult, morally and ethically. Other states weren’t yet allowed to open, like New York or California, so it was difficult to know if we should.” Finding proper PPE was a big challenge, “luckily we had a stockpile of some items like gloves,” she notes, but finding proper masks and other items was necessary. Serina found herself asking questions like, “was it ethical for us to seek PPE while medical personnel on the front lines were not able to access it?”
“We’ve all taken our own time to come back to working, and some artists are still quarantining. To sustain ourselves, we have to come back and trust our clients are being careful.” Serina has not officially announced they are open to full capacity or normal hours and people can make appointments only through the website.
There are state regulations Serina agrees with, such as they can’t take walk-ins, and work is by appointment only. They only allow two artists and two clients in the studio at a time, and have removed all shared use items like the coffee maker, water jug, etc., and no longer use the lobby space.
Even with a pre-existing background dealing with blood borne pathogens, and the certifications required by tattoo artists to understand safety regarding cross contamination and sanitation, they still felt hesitant to reopen. Serina said she feels her business is lucky in this degree as pandemic-mandated safety protocols, like the proper way to put on and remove masks is something that was already part of her business’s day-to-day.
Before reopening, Serina and her team took major efforts to make the studio even cleaner and safer: investing in an air purifier, installing touchless soap dispensers, providing masks for clients, and purchasing and using goggles. “There is no handbook for how to handle this. It’s kind of sad we weren’t more prepared” she laments. Other changes include some tattoo artists only working on legs for the time being, and an extensive questionnaire clients are required to fill out before their appointment—with detailed questions ranging from asking if a client work from home or not; what their habits are for going out; if they wearing a mask or not, and if so what kind of mask; if they live with someone over age of 55; if they have experienced any flu like symptoms in last 2 weeks. All these steps, they hope, help maintains the comfort and safety of both artists and clients.
The kindness Serina has seen during the pandemic is evident in the people of Lyons; they want to support small business. She was amazed at the amount people were willing to put forward toward gift certificates (not knowing when they would get to use it in the next year). She said that puts responsibility on the business to keep the money (in its own bank account for example) for future tattooing. One artist offered to give 100% of what she made to the studio, even though Serina said she couldn’t accept it, but the gesture was “amazing.”
The best way you can help Metamorphosis Tattoo Studio, beyond getting a tattoo, is to support the artists. Many of them practice other art forms, from jewelry to painting to digital art. Book an appointment for a tattoo or to tour the gallery space (two people only). And, be patient with our small businesses as they learn to navigate being open during a pandemic.
“When we bought ‘The Cup’, our goal was to help build community while caring for the planet. We wanted to be a place where everyone from all walks of life would feel welcome when they walked in the door, locals and new visitors alike,” said Mindy Tallent, who founded The Stone Cup with her husband. The vision was to create a positive impact on the community and the environment. They worked with a local environmental consultant and found ways to reduce their environmental impact, “we offset our energy use with renewable, non-polluting wind energy. We have a comprehensive recycling and composting program, from eggshells to cups and plates, we keep as much as we can out of the landfills.”
Since reopening during the pandemic, “we have been working twice as hard for less than 50% of our income. It has been an incredible challenge. It was difficult keeping things going prior to the pandemic, but now it’s almost insurmountable” Mindy shared.
Before the pandemic, finding balance meant working on staffing, food costs, equipment failures, working 80 hours a week, general craziness and, of course, dealing with lingering recovery from the flood of 2013. “Now, it’s dealing with safety measures, worrying about my and my husband’s health as we’re in our sixties. We’ve needed to reduce our hours due to staffing and reduce our menu to make business manageable” says Mindy.
Mindy tells us that so many people in the Lyons’ community have been encouraging and have thanked them for being open. The best way you can support the Stone Cup is to stop by, say hi, they love to see everyone. Friends have also started a Go Fund Me, which is another way you can support this treasured business:.
During the pandemic, you can visit The Stone Cup at 442 High Street Thursday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The measures Lyons small businesses have had to undertake in order to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic has been incredibly overwhelming. From acquiring PPE to managing social distancing, there have been many challenges faced. The silver lining is that the Lyons community wants to help support local businesses and the good news is there are several ways we can do this, from buying a cup of coffee at The Stone Cup to doing a trade at Rosey’s. You can spread the word about Metamorphosis having an art gallery, or buy an at-home facial kit from Lucid Beauty. We have a lot at our fingertips, whether you are on a budget or unable to walk into a store, there are ways we can help support Lyons businesses. The hope is that these businesses get through this difficult time and that we one day can return to having a normal, and ideally, bustling local town again.