Hardly a day goes by that I do not pine for my little shop in Greenwich Village—or, at least, wistfully remember being a part of the bloodstream of that wonderful neighborhood. Yet, knowing the hardship that New York's (and every other city's) merchants are enduring right now, I consider myself blessed to be disentangled from the long tally of monthly expenses that a brick-and-mortar shopkeeper must shoulder: rent, payroll, utilities, insurance, banking fees, repairs. And—oh!—let's not forget the cost of acquiring new merchandise. With most small businesses (in the best of times) barely held-together with the "glue" of the owner's free labor, coming-out of this dormancy will be very difficult for most mom and pop merchants. And this sector is only one tiny sliver of the economic "pie" which feeds our city, our country, and our world. "God Bless Us, Everyone!"
In my new home city of Pittsburgh, the two antique centers in which I trade have closed for the indeterminate future. I continue to operate my on-line shop—and have made a few adjustments for the health and safety of my customers. As of March 1st, I have temporarily stopped traveling and have suspended adding any new merchandise to my stock. By selling my "quarantined" existing stock, I know it is safe and virus-free. I have also stopped purchasing packing materials, preferring to use the stock which I have in-reserve. These are small moves, I admit, but I want customers to rest assured that the merchandise I ship to them has been properly separated and protected from "the outside world."
As the "shutdown" continues—and we, possibly, become more used to the new routine—I foresee a resumption in on-line selling and shipping. I hope you will consider LEO Design when you need a Handsome Gift or something to brighten "the place where you are sheltering."
I hope that we, as Americans, will bite-the-bullet and take bold and thorough action to stop the coronavirus's spread. It is better, I think, to make a dramatic and complete shutdown (for a shorter period), than to take sloppy half-measures which never fully halt the invader.
Once again, "God Bless Us, Everyone!"
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248