Show Us Your Shop: 903 Handmade By Debbie Eisele

Owner shares how they are coping with COVID-19

With so many retailers facing similar challenges right now, we encourage you to Show Us Your Shop so we may share your story and help other independent retailers.

Kristy Norman from 903 Handmade reached out from Tyler, Texas, where she started her business three years ago. 903 Handmade offer customers both an in-store and online shopping experience to its customers. Its business model is to offer a collection of small businesses that make goods from all around the U.S. “We try to have as many local to East Texas and Texas made as possible,” Kristy Norman noted. 

She also shared how her business is adjusting to the current retail climate.

How have you transitioned your selling strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Honestly this just pushed us to implement ideas that we had but just never seemed to have the time to put in place.

What special services, such as curbside pickup or delivery, have you implemented?

We now offer curb side pickup (something I’ve been thinking about for over a year) local delivery and private virtual shopping. It’s harder to have everything online because a lot of out things are one of a kind and are sold before we can list it BUT we now have a large selection on our website and are adding more daily.

How are you reaching out to customers during this crisis?

Mostly in the same ways as before, social media.

What are your social media handles?



Is your business offering any new programs to assist others in the community at this time?

We are currently working on a few ideas, an example is “buy (this) and we will donate hand sanitizers,” etc. to people working that don’t have a choice to stay home.

Have you increased your online retail presence to adjust to social distancing?

Yes. We definitely have added to our website and are doing so on a daily basis.

Are you creating any grab-and-go type solutions to help sell through existing inventory and to provide merchandise customers need in today’s environment?

We have increased our hand sanitizer production. We normally carry this but have had to step it up to meet the demand.

What helpful tips would you like to share with other retailers during these unprecedented times?

Think creatively. It never hurts to try something new.

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the former managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.

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