Tori Hunt from Two Ridges Pottery on what it's like to run a small business during COVID-19
Two Ridges Pottery was first featured in our March 16th issue. We caught up with Tori Hunt, the owner, and potter of the business, to find out how she is coping during the pandemic.
Hunt’s business has slowed down due to COVID-19. Regular orders and wholesale orders have decreased because of the closure of many breweries, coffee shops, and restaurants that stock her items. The production has decreased, too, with fewer employees working for safety reasons.
Staying busy is a must for Hunt. She frequently works in her studio, trying to produce stock for the rest of the year and completing the few orders she still has. Her social media presence remains strong with her posting giveaways and asking for customer feedback on ideas for future projects (candles are next!).
To encourage other local small business owners and creators, Hunt says, “Keep it up! If you have a supportive community and customer base, you’ll be just fine! … We’re all in this together.”
Be sure to reach out and ask for help if you are in need and take this time to work on what you have and improve. Building an online presence is important at this time, so stay active on social media. In finishing, she states, “I feel the weight of this and I’m sure you do too - but we’ll make it through.”
The pandemic is leaving such a strong impact that frightens Hunt as it is quite possible that many small businesses will not be able to reopen. Creating a life in the arts is difficult, to begin with, and is that much more difficult when the economy is struggling. It is imperative that support is given to local businesses whether it is financial or solely through social media.
In continuing to support Two Ridges Pottery, Hunt wants individuals to be aware that they can shop on the Two Ridges website and select local pickup. This allows for items to be picked up in a contact-free manner from the studio just outside of St. Elmo. There are a number of products available for purchase, such as mugs, teapots, yarn bowls, t-shirts, and more. Wedding registries are offered and custom logo mugs are available for businesses, homesteads, etc.