It is hard to find a silver lining in the coronavirus pandemic that created so much loss and sadness for so many as well as havoc worldwide in the education, finances, and business sectors. But there are a couple of local entrepreneurs who did find one. What initially appeared to be the frightening loss of a job and along with it a safe income, turned out to be an entrepreneurial opportunity they might not otherwise have taken.
As reported by Melanie Ann Jackson in a story in the latest Walton Living Magazine, Bruce and Chelsea Tucker from Monroe were newly-married college graduates both headed to exciting careers, Bruce in criminal justice and Chelsea with a degree in biology. Then COVID-19 hit and they found themselves facing a hiring freeze in the careers they were expecting to soon embark on. With neither of them able to continue in their individual expected careers, they began looking for an alternative. They found it in a business born out of necessity – and Chelsea’s creativity.
“I started just making bandanas as I was just starting to learn to sew,”. Chelsea said. So when Covid hit and both her and her husband’s careers were put on hold, she expanded on that talent and a new business, “Tasteful Snoods,” was born. These Snoods are colored onesies for dogs. This grew into other designs and colors and the next thing they knew, they could hardly keep up. So much so, that when they were asked if they would continue with Tasteful Snoods or pursue their original careers at some point in the future, they both replied in unison, “Tasteful Snoods!”
Similarly, Nicole Grimins, also from Monroe, was working as an office manager with average pay when COVID hit. This resulted in her being laid off in April 2020. She too was facing a grim future with no employment. But she too found a way to make the best of her situation.
“I saw someone I knew on Facebook who was doing a video and ‘fizzing’ ring bombs which looked like little boxes. When you drop these little containers in hot water they fizz away and inside is a colored foil paper that wraps around a ring. You then open the foil and find a ring inside a plastic baggie with the ring inside of it,” she said.
Grimins looked into an opportunity with this company acting as a franchisee and knew she could earn an income.
“I felt I could work at this and make my business grow. I started doing ‘live’ parties on Facebook under ‘Sizzle Fizzle’ to customers who wanted to buy from me. The ring sizes are 6-10, there are also earrings and necklaces available. The way it works people order their ring size or a necklace or earrings and I place the order. Everything is a surprise ‘just pick your size, I fizz it live, and the rest is a surprise.“
As was the case with the Tuckers, her venture took off, she showed a profit by the third month and she now has a team of 25 people and is making three times the amount she did before. Needless to say she too has no intention of returning to her old career – even after COVID.
“What I do now offers me the opportunity to be with my chidren and take care of them with doctor’s appointments, meetings and such. We have new products coming in all the time. It’s a lot of fun and I would recommend this type of opportunity to anyone,” she said.
For the full story on these local entrepreneurs making the best of what could have otherwise been a difficult situation, click or tap on this link to the digital version of the 2021 Spring-Summer issue of Walton Living Magazine – or pick up a printed copy at one of the local libraries, city halls or at one of the advertisers in the magazine.