Written by Kelsey Krahn
The global pandemic has shaken society as we know it. Our economy currently rests in a state of unpredictability, uncertainty, and unease, making it tough for many employers, employees, and non-essential businesses to generate income and stay afloat.
However, numerous working ladies in Denver have used innovation to turn adversity into impact. Several have taken this opportunity to get creative and expand their network by reaching out to new customers and clients. While others have pivoted their business to make an impact on the community.
The following eight ladies have creatively swiveled their business to help out others during the coronavirus pandemic:
Adriana Giorgetti: Content Creator and Social Media Strategist
Adriana Giorgetti, the founder and CEO of Posting Bee, is an experienced social media consultant and content creator who has ditched charging fees and is giving out her expertise for free. She has been working with businesses to help them brainstorm, bounce ideas around, and aims to do whatever she can to keep companies from closing doors.
On the side, the innovative strategist and creator is sewing masks for whoever needs them.
Erika E. Righter: Agitator, Advocate, Mom
Erika E. Righter, founder of Hope Tank, has fearlessly developed an idea that has helped small businesses during COVID-19. The agitator, advocate, and mom developed Hope Tank in 2012, a local Denver retail store that sells gifts that give back. Ever since day one, Erika has taken a percentage of Hope Tank’s sales and delegated it to a nonprofit chosen by the creator of the product. And she has continued her streak of goodwill by starting a unique fundraiser!
The fundraiser aims to raise money for now-closed small businesses that may be subject to robbery and vandalism during COVID-19. Several storefronts have been covered with plywood to hinder damage and break-ins, but some can’t afford to do so. Erika’s fundraiser will bring in money for businesses that need extra help, but it gets better.
Poets and artists will get the chance to write and draw visuals of hope on the boards, and she will pay them to do so.
Sydney Jackson-Clockston: Business Strategist, Responsible Travel and Retreat Coordinator
Sydney Jackson-Clockston, founder of Sydney Starr Travel, a company that helps clients plan ethical and sustainable travel, has experienced a significant dive in business due to COVID-19.
When Sydney started her business, she knew something like this could happen based on history: September 11th, Bird Flu, Recession of 2008, etc. But the outside-of-the-box thinker had no idea that the hospitality and tourism industry would get hit this hard.
With all that being said, she had to become strategic and savvy to ride this wave out, which is where the Business Strategist within her shines through. With COVID-19 showing limited signs of slowing, she decided to jump right into marketing virtual travel opportunities. She is now offering four weeks of free virtual travel to inspire and educate folks. This offering has been great for all ages as it gives clients something to do, is free, it inspires people to want to see the virtual destinations in real life, and it keeps her name and business relevant.
She notes that “Business will pick up again and I want to be the first name people think about when they are ready to travel again. This is just one example of how I have personally been strategic during COVID-19.”
Abby Gardner: Owner of Abby Cooks Wild
Abby Gardner, busy mom, wife, and owner of Abby Cooks Wild, alleviates the stress of mulling over dinner choices (and the thought of cooking, in general) by offering full-service, in-home meal prep to those who are time-strapped but want to consume healthy home-cooked meals. She takes orders from clients and shops for ingredients and portions the meals for them. Unfortunately, frequent grocery shopping and face-to-face interaction is no longer an option due to the pandemic. Therefore, Abby has had to pivot her business model.
She now spends a lot of time using her Facebook page to share kitchen tips and tricks with viewers—Abby rarely used her business Facebook page before COVID-19.
Since March 21, the helpful chef has gone live on Abby Cooks Wild every evening at 5 pm from her home kitchen, where she shares what she’s concocting for dinner each night. Abby aims to show her viewers that cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. She wants those tuning in to feel empowered!
In addition to sharing recipes, Abby has been engaging with her viewers by providing tips on ingredient substitutions, discussing kitchen hacks, and detailing unique ways to use the food already in the fridge or pantry.
Danielle Smith: Photographer and Personal Development Coach
Danielle Smith, founder of Lotus & Lily Photography, has had to change her work drastically due to social distancing measures. The lifestyle, portrait, and wedding photographer needs to be around people for her business to thrive, but she can’t do so anymore.
However, Danielle has decided to push another aspect of herself that she has been hesitant about, which is to work as a personal development coach. She aims to encourage positivity during these tough times. Her story portrays that COVID-19, even though horrible, may inspire a fire within to try something you’ve always wanted to try.
Jennifer Peters and Amber Hunter and: Owner, Head Baker at Just Be Kitchen
Jennifer Peters, owner of Just be Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant that has a mission to serve mindful meals, and Amber Hunter, Head Baker, have pivoted their business to benefit members of their community.
Just Be Kitchen has concocted the first medically approved immunity boxes: Just BE Immune Meal Kits. These boxes will help keep their business relevant while also benefiting the community.
The Just BE Immune Meal Kits include a nutritious, fulfilling box of meals and supplies, specifically made with proven nutrients that elevate immunity and combat illness. Each box contains five large entrees with specific ingredients that build the body’s defense against illness, soup, house-made bone broth, and golden turmeric powder to fight inflammation. The boxes are available for individual purchase, but they are setting a target for 500 boxes to be donated to front line workers in healthcare, law enforcement, and grocery stores.
Diane Wall: Psychotherapist for Domestic Abuse Clients
Diane Wall, psychotherapist, has had quite the shift in her work. She has had to learn to live with so much uncertainty over the last few weeks. Diane used to help women by not only seeing them in her office but at their place of business or a phone session. The psychotherapist unveils that COVID-19 has stopped her from seeing clients, but she still manages to find moments where they can exchange a few words.
She says that “now there is no break from an abusive partner.” Diane continues, “I feel as though I am holding my breath and waiting for that very thing I’ve tried so hard to help them avoid.”
Diane’s work exemplifies how COVID-19 is forcing some people to live in painful, uncomfortable, and abusive situations.
COVID-19 has shifted everyone’s lives and the economy. Some jobs have stopped completely—around 17 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits in the last month—while other entrepreneurs have been forced to get creative and tap into another skill or try out another endeavour. Everyone is fighting to stay relevant, and these ladies deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication to empowering and bettering the local community of Denver.