Consignment store closes, goes online
After eight years in operation, Hand Made Bermuda has closed its Dockyard store.
But co-owner Jan Quinn, who runs the store with Andrea Moniz, said this is not the end.
The consignment store will be now selling its locally made items, such as art, jam, jewellery, cedar pens and tea towels, through an online store.
“Like a lot of Dockyard businesses, we really rely on the summer cruise ship season to make a profit,” Ms Quinn said.
They decided to close the physical store a couple of weeks into the Covid-19 crisis.
“Looking at the news we could see what was happening in other countries,” Ms Quinn said. “We knew the Covid-19 pandemic would go on a long time.
Ms Quinn added: “We couldn’t see much prospect of there being cruise ships for the rest of the season, really.
“Every day that went on we weren’t getting any income and were just incurring costs.”
She and Ms Moniz always wanted to start an online branch of the business, but were too busy running the store. “Now that we have idle time we are able to do it,” Ms Quinn said.
Only a fraction of their goods are listed on their website, but they are working to expand it.
And if one of their regular customers does not see what they want on the website they can always ask for it.
Ms Quinn said as a consignment store they are less able to raise the cost of their goods to offset increased expenses than other stores. The artists they represent are already only making a small profit, as it is.
Hand Made Bermuda represents over 80 different local crafts people and artists such as Tricia Phillips, Diana Higginbotham and Joan Aspinall.
“One lady that we represent is a single mother and was working two jobs already,” Ms Quinn said. “She was making toys at the weekend and evenings, to put her children through school. That made every day worthwhile for me. All the money was staying in Bermuda and going to help someone put food on the table.”
She said people who support their new website are helping to build Bermuda back up.
“It is upsetting to be closing our store,” Ms Quinn said. “We have become attached to it. But there are lots of people out there who have lost their jobs completely. There are people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We are pleased that this is the worst problem we have at the moment. There are so many less fortunate than us.”
• For more, call 536-4043, e-mail email@example.com or see handmadebermudaltd.com
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