April 3, 2020
Category: Blog Posts
Shop Dog Henry is Having a Tough Time Too
The pandemic may have changed how The Artworks approaches businesses these days, but it’s affected Henry the mixed terrier too.
“He’s feeling a little bit lonely,” admits Artworks co-owner Wendy Lahti about the beloved, shop dog that was adopted three years ago. “Henry is very sociable and a real charmer; he loves being at the store and I think that he might be a little depressed about not getting his usual love and attention.” The nine-person staff has been paired down and curbside pickup is the new norm.
Lahti, who opened Artworks back in 1982 with her husband Peter Turner, has been rolling with the crisis by turning to newer technology to showcase her curio shop’s wares. Facetime has been something of an asset for their personalized shopping service, though most people are simply ordering online or by phone.
One big surprise, given that people might not have as much disposable income available these days, is steady flower sales. “I think it’s because people want to brighten their days,” Lahti says. “There have definitely been special occasion orders like birthdays and anniversaries, but most people are just wanting to bring a bit of cheer to this dreary spring.” Artworks offers curbside pickup and delivery of flowers and other items in the store.
Carrying everything from jewelry to bespoke pens, antique mirrors to vases, the store has gathered a dedicated customer base of all ages, especially among downtown residents and workers.
“The people who come in are generally those who like supporting small businesses and those who like social interactions,” Lahti says. “It’s pretty much the opposite of the online experience.”
The saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (sorry, Henry), but Lahti and Turner are proving that their 38-year-old business can adapt when needed.
“It’s an unprecedented situation and things are changing day to day, but we’re rolling with it,” she sighs. “It’s very disconcerting to be at work with nobody around. One nice thing is that people are giving us lots of appreciative comments; I think they’re just happy that we’re still going and sending out flowers. We will get through this, with everyone standing together, though we do need to stand six feet apart!”
Many Downtown business are still open and offering curbside pickup and/or delivery of their goods. Shop in the Heart at these Downtown businesses.