Thursday, May 28, 2020:
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...
As we approach the official "open for business" for non-essential retail, we reflect on the last months and realize little has changed, and we are as concerned for your safety as we were when we closed up altogether in mid-March. We had resorted to appointments only back then, and then shut completely, though shopping for "household goods" was deemed a category of essential importance. We have gradually re-opened by appointment to a steady and growing number of known customers, and continue to do so with caution. We will adhere to our strict visiting policies below (see May 14 post) and continue to put your safety first.
Whatever we can do by mail or by dropping off samples for you to review, emailing and answering questions remotely - we've always been happy to do! Don't be shy to request help, as we've been set up to help from a distance for many years. The difference between making the right choice for our local customers versus our customer Shayne in Ann Arbor: you can safely come in and sit with us to try out furniture to find what fits your body best.
With 'our people' more than other businesses, it can be critical to try the product in person, so a sit test is necessary. We will meet any reasonable appointment request and entertain the impossible - now as we would do before.
As Billy Holiday sang, "The difficult we'll do right now; the impossible will take a little while..."
What can we do to make your home more enjoyable?
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text Ross by cell at 917-482-3245.
We also monitor and respond to messages at the store number: 207-883-3264.
Thanks for your support and stay healthy and safe!
Ross, Christine, & Jane
Thursday, May 14, 2020:
Please request an appointment to visit the store between 9 AM and 5 PM any day, Monday thru Friday. Email email@example.com. We will be adhering to these guidelines and appreciate your understanding and cooperation to keep you safe.
For now, we are:
Seeing customers by appointment only
Not seeing anyone that presents any symptoms of coughs, sniffles, colds, or fever
Requesting every visiting group to provide their name and contact information
Restricting groups to 1-2 people (IMPORTANT: from the same household)
Only one group at a time now, doors are locked while inside to prevent unwanted intrusion of visitors that may not be prepared to follow our safety preparations.
Asking each group to wait before entering so we can clean certain areas before the next visitors enter
Wearing face masks during customer visits
Asking customers to wear their own masks in the store at all times
We will provide new nitrile or latex gloves for you while in the store
We will ask you to apply hand sanitizer over your gloved hands as you enter the store
Keeping windows open and using less air conditioning whenever possible
Deep cleaning all high-touch surfaces several times each day, particularly where and whenever visitors have been
Whatever additional assistance we can provide, from free fabric cuttings, to free pick up and drop off of our sales aids that can't be decided by email...we're more than happy to do.
Ross, Christine and Jane
Monday, May 11, 2020:
We are not yet open, but had an encouraging day last Saturday. We had been following all the measures and protocols outlined in the Maine CDC's new guidelines even before we closed, in March, and are more vigilant and fastidious than before when it comes to a clean store with safe high-contact surfaces. We set up two customer pickups of furniture and processed some incoming orders. We safely performed a mock consumer visit to our store with friends, who are nurses. We were told that our processes and measures taken to ensure the safety of our patrons are more than adequate to make our consumers feel safe and that it is clear we mean business when it comes to keeping our customers healthy.
Our March sale was cut short, but now, after speaking with Temple Furniture's Steve Baldwin, we are offering an ongoing sale with even better terms now through July 4.
We will continue to update you as news becomes available. Once permitted to open in Cumberland County, we will, but with your safety guiding our progress at all times.
A business is nothing without its customers, and we are nothing without healthy and happy consumers that trust us in even more ways now than before.
Thanks very much, please reach Ross directly at 917-482-3245 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday April 3, 2020:
Complying with the above order, we are staying home in Portland and electing to offer as much service as we can from our home office.
We could argue that ours is an essential business in the sector of "Household goods" on the left side column of this Essential Business Operations Definitions March 31, 2020 but feel the risk of spreading the virus outweighs the real need in the community for our furniture.
As of today, all our upholstery manfacturers and just about all the small wood shops we work with have stopped operations to slow the virus's spread. We have received a few smaller shipments of merchandise and will contact those customers to discuss next steps as they can happen.
For Condo Sofa and Temple Furniture orders, including those for our replacement floor models, NC halted production in non-essential businesses starting Wednesday for 30 days. We will contact each of the customers with orders to manage pickups and deliveries as soon as those activities can be safely performed.
Our last day of threshhold deliveries was Wednesday, 4/1. Custom hardwood tables delighted people in York and Cumberland counties, but after that, we are sheltering in place/quarantined/locked down. As we shift from projects to fill the spare time to producing cloth face masks using our old, discontinued fabric swatches, we hope to provide the neediest professionals with a meaningful bit of help. If you are trying to do the same and want to learn more about what we decided to do for a mask design, send us an email at email@example.com
In the meantime, please stay well and safe.
and THANKS AGAIN for shopping at our little family-owned store and supporting what we do!
-Ross, Christine and Jane
We're extremely grateful for the healthy order volume and continued support from our loyal customers. We're going to get through this together! Our family (in Portland) and Jane's are sheltering in place, we are well and hope you are staying indoors and staying healthy.
We are assessing the situation as it develops, and continue to respond to emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) and text messages (917)-482-3245 on Ross's phone.
Some shops and factories have closed temporarily, while others in rural areas soldier on. We do anticipate all suppliers will want to alter or temporarily halt production if the safety of their workers requires, it. Meanwhile, we do appreciate your patience as we manage the arrival of orders in a more unpredictable freight and receiving environment.
As we receive orders and arrange for deliveries and pickups, we will continue to put your safety first.
Meanwhile, we're busy making masks from our discontinued 100% cotton swatches to donate, and doing what we need to to keep this great little business viable.
Please don't hesitate to reach us if we can help with anything - helping a neighbor, getting food or medicines to someone you know needs help... If there's anything we can safely do for the community, we will hop to it!
Thanks again, from Ross, Christine and Jane
We will maintain our "Limited Open" for only as long as absolutely necessary. For more information, or to make/cancel an appointment, please call 207-883-3264.
Due to mounting concerns for our elder population in this area, we are now limiting access to one group at a time, and permitting that access by appointment only to be certain visitors are as concerned as we are to control virus spread. Ours is a non-essential business and all of us must do our part to "flatten the curve".
Latest numbers overnight about the number of new cases indicates we are going to have severe medical shortages of staff, facilities, and treatment soon if more of us do not practice self isolation and distancing. Therefore we will now tighten a bit further with these measures:
Why this change:
1. new info re: how long virus lives on different surfaces, including cardboard, (presumably paper,) and impermeable surfaces.
2. concern for our predominantly older customer base, and all elders we know
Please stay safe and healthy!
Thanks, from Ross, Christine and Jane
We will be open 10-5 Monday through Saturday, our normal business hours.
However, for everyone's protection, we will allow no more than two groups of customers (or two separate, distinct parties of shoppers) access inside the store at any one time.
Appointments are available in 1 hour blocks. Please email email@example.com to set up an appointment within or outside business hours.
If requesting a home visit, we will come with gloves and face masks and take any precautions necessary to safeguard consumers' health. For weeks, we have been sanitizing all door handles, light switches, keys, phones, and keyboards and our bathroom between consumer visits and throughout the day.
This new, enhanced precaution of limiting visitors will enable us to sanitize frequently touched surfaces, bathrooms, and sales materials between every set of visitors to ensure we are presenting as clean and disinfected a shopping environment as possible.
We request that all people who are feeling sick or feverish refrain from entering the store, and if feeling fine, always maintain a distance of 6' from others.
We may require visitors to either apply hand sanitizer or begin their visit with a hand wash in the bathroom, which will be sanitized when they leave and before the next party is permitted inside.
We welcome suggestions and recommendations by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are grateful for business. We value everyone's health and safety more.
Thanks and stay well,
Ross, Christine, and Jane