Elbert County businesses adjust to health rule

Creativity is in order as retailers deal with challenges

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 7/27/20

Kim Beaver has owned Skadoodles Boutique for 16 years, and moved her store from Castle Rock to Elizabeth three years ago. She, like most business owners, has never dealt with the constantly changing …

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Elbert County businesses adjust to health rule

Creativity is in order as retailers deal with challenges

Posted

Kim Beaver has owned Skadoodles Boutique for 16 years, and moved her store from Castle Rock to Elizabeth three years ago. She, like most business owners, has never dealt with the constantly changing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Adjusting her business model to adhere to the current statewide face covering mandate is just the latest obstacle Beaver faces.

“Face covering is kind of a new normal,” said Beaver. “We are doing everything we can to help our customers feel safe when shopping in the boutique, and getting creative with helping them shop if they don’t feel comfortable coming inside. I’ll take pictures and text them back and forth for customers, and you can also call us and set an appointment to come in and shop during our off hours.”

Skadoodles carries clothing and accessories for women, as well as some local artisan-made home goods. Retail therapy, according to Beaver, makes some people feel better after months of staying at home.

“We do have a lot of women over 50 who shop here,” said Beaver. “Myself and all of my employees are over 50 and we try all of the merchandise ourselves, and sometimes a new outfit just makes you feel better about the world.”

Two of Beaver’s employees are older than 70, and when Gov. Jared Polis called for non-essential businesses to close their doors in March, she quickly complied to keep her employees safe. Beaver said she was reluctant to apply for any small business assistance loans, but eventually did and used the money to keep paying her employees. When she reopened the boutique, daily life was much different for her and her employees.

“We do a lot of cleaning,” said Beaver. “We even clean all of our coins. And one of my employees has been making masks, which we use and sell here in the store.”

As far as customers wearing facial coverings in the store, Beaver said they have all been respectful and adhered to the facial covering mandate.

“I think the important thing is to not hold it against anyone either way — whether they choose to wear a mask or not,” said Beaver. “We will always wear a mask, but I assume if someone comes in without one that they have a good reason for not wearing one.”

One good thing has come from the pandemic and the changing regulations, according to Beaver.

“Community members are really coming together to help each other and support their local businesses,” said Beaver. “And, now we can add nice masks to our line of accessories.”

Michelle Rink, executive director of the Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, echoes Beaver’s sentiments about community supporting their local businesses.

“There’s been a lot of positivity in the community,” said Rink. “We want to support each other, and many of our businesses have made special accommodations for those who either don’t feel safe going into a business, or prefer not to wear a mask while shopping.”

Rink recommends contacting any local business to find out what accommodations they will make for anyone who is in a high-risk category, or can’t wear a facial covering.

“We realize that during this time, hitting the Amazon button from the safety of your home is easier, but when all this is over with we want to make sure your favorite shops and restaurants are still here,” said Rink. “We want to make sure we don’t let this year take over our normal life. Wear your mask, be respectful of others and continue to support local.”

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