Artists who rely on booths at live events to sell their creations are finding themselves without a storefront in the age of social distancing. A digital storefront is one way to keep their businesses going.
Before the pandemic, Paul Daniel Jordan was a familiar presence at many local events. As the owner of Reflecta Creations, he sold his healing crystal macramé jewelry at farmer’s markets, summer festivals, Thursday evening markets, and Victorian Christmas markets. Today, he is only able sell at a fraction of the venues he would normally attend. Many of the places where he would normally sell simply don’t exist this summer because of social distancing measures. At the few events where he can still set up his booth, Paul’s blue eyes sparkle above a mask as he spreads the word about the healing power of crystals.
When the Grass Valley Downtown Association called to tell Paul about the cancelation of the Thursday market, they also threw him a lifeline. They told him about the free E-Commerce Business Ignitor course for local merchants that Rebound Nevada County was partnering with Sierra Commons to offer via Zoom in May.
Paul jumped on the opportunity to get free technical and marketing support for his business. A few weeks later, after an intense period of instruction and hard work, he had a full-blown e-commerce website. Online sales paid for the website set-up fees in less than two months and now Paul is making money from the site. “The workshop helped me figure out my natural strengths and where I needed help,” said Paul. “The instructors were very adaptable – some people were at entry level and needed more help, it was easier for me because I was in the middle of the learning curve. It was very valuable to have consultants – I got all of my questions answered by specialists in differ areas – social media, SEO, and storytelling.”
Reflecta Creations’ new website has opened up even more possibilities for Paul’s business. He is able to educate people about how crystals work through videos that he posts on the site, and answer questions about their vibrational tuning properties. Visit http://www.reflectacreations.com to see Paul’s new site and learn about the healing power of crystals.
Rebound Nevada County is a collaborative group that includes the Sierra Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Nevada City and Grass Valley chambers of commerce, members of Nevada City and Grass Valley city councils, Sierra Commons, Grass Valley Downtown Association, Nevada City Film Festival, Bear Yuba Land Trust, Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Nevada County Arts Council, Nevada County Economic Resource Council and the Sierra Business Council. They get financial support from the Sierra Small Business Development Center and the Nevada County Economic Resource Council. With Rebound Nevada County’s support, Sierra Commons is offering another free e-commerce ignitor course starting July 20.
Erika Kosina is a local freelance writer who writes about the tech and manufacturing industry in Nevada County and beyond. http://www.erikakosina.com.
Originally published in The Union on July 20, 2020