Saint Andrews – It is said that people come together in times of crisis, and this is something that couldn’t be more true in Charlotte County. While many businesses did have to close their doors for several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many others were able to remain open, and they showed their resiliency by making many changes in how they do business in order to accommodate their loyal customers.
To thank these businesses, The Saint Croix Courier has launched the Shine On campaign, which lets people nominate their favourite businesses that have gone above and beyond during this challenging time. One of the businesses that received nominations is My Space Giftshop in Saint Andrews.
Owner/Operator Kelly Conley said she hadn’t heard about the Shine On campaign until she saw a post on the Facebook page of another nominee, Alicia Weeks, owner of Element 506 Made Local Boutique in St. Stephen. Conley said she had no idea that her store had been nominated, and she is thrilled to know her customers support the business she and husband, Bill Conley, started last June.
“I saw something on Alicia’s page last night,” said Conley.
Conley said they had to close the store for a few weeks, but they were still able to ensure their customers received the items they wished to purchase. In addition to offering curbside pickup, they also delivered items to customers throughout Charlotte County.
“We offered curbside, and we did deliveries as well, in Charlotte County,” said Conley. “We delivered not only to St. Stephen but also to down at the other end of the county, St. George, Pennfield, Back Bay, Blacks Harbour. We’re still continuing to offer that service.”
Conley said she has been overwhelmed by the amount of support the store has received from the community, particularly during this time of crisis. She didn’t think they would be facing as many challenges as they have this year, but they have persevered.
“We’re making lemonade out of lemons, so we stay positive. I can’t honestly say enough about the local community, and not just there but Fredericton and all surrounding areas. The support has been great.”
My Space Giftshop is now open to the public once again, seven days a week. They are serving customers Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. In addition to following social distancing regulations, Conley said they have implemented other protocols to ensure the safety of their customers.
“It’s a limit of six customers at a time, and they have to sanitize when they come in,” said Conley. “Masks are optional. We have the floor marked and so on for folks.”
The Conleys sell a “little bit of everything” in their store, including giftware, jewelry, some consignment items, Canadian made products, and clothing. People are welcome to come in and try items on, and they can feel safe in doing so because each item is sanitized after being tried on by customers.
“Whatever you try on, we steam and set aside. We steam them and set them out back for 24 hours and then put them back on the shelves.”
Conley said she was shocked to learn that the store had been nominated for the Shine On award, and would like to thank those who nominated them. She said the support within the community has been wonderful, and she can’t thank people enough for that support.
“I’m shocked. Thank you very much. The support in the community, Charlotte County in general, has been awesome. We really appreciate that. The support’s been overwhelming. Thank you.”