Ferndale Promoting “Boss Mom” Owned Businesses for Mothers Day
(Drew Saunders, May 6, 2020)
There are a lot of options for how to celebrate Mother’s Day – flowers, chocolates, a special meal. But Ferndale’s Downtown Development Authority is promoting a new way to celebrate the big day – by encouraging you to shop at local businesses owned by mothers in the community, through their brand new BOSS Moms promotion.
“I have been incredibly impressed with the innovation that I have seen. Businesses that have never offered any kind of curbside pick up or online ordering were able to pivot and start offering that, sometime within a week,” Ferndale DDA Director Lena Stevens said.
Stevens was already tracking the activities of local restaurants and other businesses, since Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered a statewide shutdown to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. But with Mother’s Day coming up, Stevens realized that she could fold the data that the DDA was already collecting into a promotional campaign to spread awareness for the local businesses that happen to be run by mothers in Ferndale.
“It’s really nice to recognize the human face behind the stores,” The Candle Wick Shoppe owner Jackie Smith – who is also the Director of the DDA Board – said. “It’s really humanizing for people to understand that we’re not just a number and that there’s people doing the work.”
Parenting is already a full time job, as massage therapist Lisa Boyd pointed out. Her seventeen year old Essential Massage Therapy has had to temporarily shut down, but there are gift certificates available online which can give a mother – or anyone – something to look forward to down the road.
“Motherhood has made me evolve as a business owner,” Boyd said. “I have grown to appreciate the flexibility it gives me to be there for my kids. After all these years I think I’ve found the sweet spot to juggle it all. I cherish this time in my life; being able to dedicate myself to my helping others and teach my kids how important that is!”
Even businesses accustomed to operating online may very well see a drop in demand, as is the case with Nikkita Cohoon’s graphic design business – Ritual Morning Studio. The Boss Moms campaign is a bright spot for Cohoon. She has welcomed the community building exercise as it helps her building her brand’s identity.
“To run a business long-term, you have to be flexible enough to adjust and pivot. I’m using this time to expand my service offerings so that I don’t rely too heavily on one income stream and can remain in business long term,” Cohoon said. “When it comes to different networking opportunities, I’m always focused on creating new connections and expanding my community. Since I do operate as an online business, I always welcome the chance to participate in something locally. I’m also happy ot see mothers running businesses celebrated, because no one is just one thing and it’s great to see the different facets of our identities celebrated in all forms.”
Emily Murray has had to transition her Modern Natural Baby business from a mostly brick and mortar operation to being completely online, which has been a challenge. But these are hardly normal times and they are making the transition by improving their website, starting local deliveries and curbside pickup operations.
Elaine Jaeger of Elaine B. Jewelry has faith in Ferndale’s ability to bounce back. “Small businesses make Ferndale funky and fabulous,” she said.
The creator of fine handmade jewelry opened her shop in town a year and a half ago. Right now, Jaeger is also figuring out how to conduct her business entirely online, at least temporarily. Similarly to several businesses interviewed for this article, she has staggered when she and her five employees go to their brick and mortar location. They go one person per day at a time, to help prevent the spread while still making unique necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other accessories to sell online.
“While I think it’s a little too early to make predictions on how we’re going to come out of this, I think businesses have been heroic in how they have pivoted to try to keep their doors open,” Stevens added. “I’m incredibly proud of them.”
Learn more about the Boss Moms of Ferndale and other great local businesses at www.FerndaleMothersDay.com.