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“When COVID(-19) hit, the first two weeks were really dead. Then it picked right back up” said Shelly Smith, who is partnered with Karmen Campbell and Cindy Emerson at Simply Unique.

The store officially opened up in December of 2019 and replaced a portion of Deanne’s Hitchin Post. The left side of the building is Melinda Brady’s Beautiful Antiques and More, which opened at the beginning of March this year.

Smith said that the sales have been slow the last two weeks at Simply Uniques, but she assumed it was because people were getting ready for school and not because of COVID-19. She was in front of the counter and pointed at different sections in the store as she spoke. She explained that the store had women and children’s clothing, a Bible book store and local honey among other items.

On the left wing of the building, Beautiful Antiques and More hosts vendors on three different floors. Brady smiled as she spoke about being a new business owner, stating that she enjoys her vendors and meeting new people that come in, that the experience has her nervous and excited at the same time. She stated that looking at her vendors’ items takes her back to when she was eight years old and at her grandmother’s house.

Both stores opened before the COVID-19 pandemic and are a host to new vendors and those in the previous Deanne’s Hitchin Post. These stores not only share the same building, but similar sentiments about being a new business during the pandemic. Smith and Brady said the struggle has been getting people to know that they are new businesses on the Square. These two businesses also suffered in sales in mid-March at the beginning of the public health emergency with things picking up in the weeks after.

“We are just enjoying being here, being a new business in town, and trying to help keep the town going,” said Smith. “We love what we do.”

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