REACT – RECOVERY – RESILIENCE
SBDC IOWA CLIENTS SHARE THEIR COVID-19 JOURNEY
Windy Ridge Handcrafted
Angela Scanlan, Owner
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Windy Ridge Handcrafted products are the natural approach to bath and body. My products are made as naturally as possible. I don’t use fillers or chemicals. I’ve been in this business for 10 years, just doing craft shows and selling in others’ stores. I had my product at a store in Parkersburg and the owner of the business wanted me to take over her lease since she was ready to quit. I’ve always thought about opening a brick and mortar business, but this pushed my thought process. I was unable to take her place as her building didn’t have workable water (just for the bathroom) and no counter space for me to work on. If I was moving, I wanted to be able to have the retail portion of my business and be able to make products in my store. With this in my head, I noticed a popular sandwich place up for sale. I looked at the shop and thought it was perfect: two sets of sinks, a certifiable kitchen, and plenty of workspace.
How did the SBDC help you with your business?
Amy Dutton, UNI SBDC Regional Director, has been amazing. I have worked with her on creating a business plan- already been in business at least 5 years at that point. I’d been working without one, so she helped me out with creating the plan and with finances.
This spring, Amy has been fundamental in making sure I got the paperwork I needed to get the funds to pay for the building. She was wonderful with coming up with ideas and letting me spring mine off of her, without judgment. If she didn’t have the answer, she was able to get me in contact with the right people. She has been a great cheerleader as well as a financial asset and majorly helped with the wording needed to get funding.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business? Have you pivoted your operations? How are you helping others during this time?
COVID-19. The most popular phrase for March, April and May. At this point in the year, I should have had a minimum of eight craft shows. I will be missing out on shows in July as well. I have my ‘main’ shows and try to fill in every weekend I can. With my first show this year being in a couple of weeks, I’m missing out on half of my yearly sales. I have put out information on my Windy Ridge Facebook page, and my regular page, but I really haven’t pursued any other ideas as I’ve been focusing on opening up my brick and mortar location. I have had many phone calls, texts, and web sales. It has truly helped to know that the people that find me at craft shows find me online to purchase the products that they want.
Along with focusing on the brick and mortar location, I work for the Aplington-Parkersburg high school. Throughout COVID, I have been considered an Essential Employee. We’ve been setting up lunches and breakfasts for up to 400 people daily, and serving curbside.