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Michelle Hinds, owner of The Vine in Farmington Hills, said Michigan’s lifting of COVID-19 restrictions has brought a sense of normalcy back to her business.
On June 22, Michigan joined the majority of states removing COVID-19 restrictions. With masks no longer needed except at the request of business owners, companies such as The Vine have seen a dramatic increase in sales for events. Hinds said people are starting to come to the store to design and plan rather than over the phone.
“Some of our biggest clients come to us during wedding season,” said Hinds. “With traditional weddings not taking place in 2020, it’s a dream that so many couples are using our shop for their weddings this year.”
Among those couples who used The Vine for their post-COVID wedding is Corrina Cook, a longtime client of the florist.
“I’ve been going to The Vine since I was about seven,” Cook said. “I always said that if I ever had to get married, they would take care of all the floral needs. When I walked into my first consultation I felt like I was visiting family, it was so easy to work with them and I was so impressed with everything.
While business is good now, things weren’t so easy during COVID for small businesses. Farmington Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Kate Knight applauded The Vine’s ingenuity during tough times.
“During the pandemic, they lost 70% of their income due to canceled and postponed events,” Knight said. “They had to pivot and generate income with subscription packages, increase their retail products and invest in online sales. We even moved one of our outdoor dining greenhouses for The Vine to use as additional retail space this summer. “
Employee Jennifer Zebari said it’s not just weddings that have kept The Vine busy.
“Unfortunately, funerals are allowed again, so we also have an increase in activity due to these events,” Zebari said. “On the positive side, we also had an increase in daily activities. Individual bouquets are sent out more frequently, I believe, because we haven’t been able to see each other and party for so long.
One of the recipients of these bouquets was Kristi Hunt, who, after seeing social media for The Vines, hinted to her husband that she would like to receive one herself.
“I saw their arrangements were beautiful in a whimsical and dreamy way,” Hunt said. “So I politely suggested that my husband buy me flowers there. We were so impressed with them that he started buying them regularly for me and our household.
To get there, The Vine had to get creative and find ways to stay afloat. One of those ways being that they ran their own crowdfunding campaign in which they raised $ 5,772 in less than 48 hours.
“Their use of social media was something that connected the whole community,” Knight said. “Michelle and all of her employees bring something unique to the community. Having a business owned by such a dynamic and creative woman as Vines is an absolute attribute for our community.
Hinds said the changes after COVID have not only been financially prosperous, but also gratifying to see customers come together through his business.
“Over the past week, we’ve seen a boom in holiday orders over the next few months,” said Hinds. “As a business owner, it’s nice to see not only from a financial point of view, but to see people interacting with each other and with our employees makes it seem like we are finally seeing a change. positive.”
Other small businesses have not been so lucky. According to the Wall Street Journal, there have been around 200,000 permanent closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hinds said The Vine is very grateful not to be part of this statistic.
“Besides, the lifted restrictions have been very good for business,” said Hinds. “We hope that things will remain stable in the future.”
Simon, Ruth. “The record of Covid-19 on American companies? 200,000 additional closures in the first year of the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, April 16, 2021, www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19s-toll-on-us-business-200-000-extra-closures-in-pandemics-first-year-11618580619.