A small business owner has mastered the art of the pivot – finally opting to close her store and do everything online for the safety of her family and her customers.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It was a stress Jossie Lukacik doesn’t want to face again – waiting to get her COVID-19 test results.
“The 20 seconds between me logging in and opening it were 20 of the scariest seconds of my life — and that made the decision for me,” Lukacik said.
The owner of Sweet Spot Studio – a place where you can take in-person baking classes – had a worker test positive for COVID-19. That’s when Lukacik decided to close up shop – yet again.
“We recently had a staff member test positive and I was evaluating where positive cases are right now in Mecklenburg County and I decided I would much rather close for in-person classes give it some time to get better,” Lukacik said.
She first closed during the lockdown last March, then closed again last summer to expand her space so she could have another way to make money – having other businesses rent out her kitchen space.
She also started a subscription cookie club and built a platform for online classes. She actually had to add employees.
“It’s been really nice to provide jobs considering I think the pastry section of (the) foodservice industry has been hit really hard,” Lukacik said.
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The only problem – she figured out how to make money, but spent that money to stay in business and now isn’t eligible for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) because it requires a business have a loss of revenue.
“It’s very frustrating because the growth was 100% necessary because of the pandemic if I didn’t do it I would not be In business anymore,” Lukacik said.
She’s hoping to reopen in March but says she’ll only do it if it feels safe for everyone. She plans to require all students to wear N95 masks.
“I am sourcing them right now — we know we will have to provide them to our students,” Lukacik said.
Until then, she said the online classes are doing well and the subscription boxes are selling like hotcakes… proving the pandemic pivot doesn’t have to be painful – if you’re prepared.
“This is something we were planning on launching anyway since there has been such a demand for more online stuff,” Lukacik said.
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