On Saturday, March 14th, Serena and I began to hear whispers regarding the state of the oncoming COVID-19 storm. We had both been on edge, discussed the possibility of reducing hours or even worse, closing for an uncertain period of time. We kicked our legs from the ground of common days, and played teeter totter with the rest of the economy from the comfort of our warm, tiny shop.
We were scared.
In the days that came, we knew that the bargaining we had attempted to make with the universe had been worn out. We surrendered to the greater good, made a game plan, and closed the shop, not knowing when we would return. After finally getting our footing after months of personal and professional strife, the multicolored rug was pulled out from underneath us and we were once again feeling defeated.
Odd Humyns has been many things to many people but to us, it’s our second home. It’s our living room, last call, our light at the end of the tunnel, and of course, our livelihood. Each time the door opens it’s another thread in the fabric we’ve sewn meticulously in an attempt to be a little safe haven for the weirdos wandering the streets. It’s been a place for art, music, collaboration, inclusion, laughter, and holy shit, SO many rainbows. It’s a shoebox in the closet of the world hoping that people will find it when they need it, and always come back to it with excitement.
It is so much more than four walls and a basement. More than t-shirts and incense and yes, even more than rainbows. It’s a feeling. A feeling now resting dormant among the other small businesses tucked away in our downtown, all waiting to open their doors once again.
I think it’s safe to say none of us ever saw this coming. If you had stopped me in the street April of 2016 and said “Hey just a head’s up, in four years the host of the apprentice runs the country and hugging your friends and family is illegal and so is going to a BAR” I would have done what I do when a kiosk worker talks to me - pretend I don’t understand and walk away.
But it is happening - to all of us. We’re all missing something we are so used to having, something we’ve become accustomed to, and for us, that’s our little spot on 209 North Barstow.
So here is us trying to tell all of you that we see you. We see you reaching out, ordering online, sharing our posts, or even just collaborating. We’re overwhelmed by everything, but above all we continue to be overwhelmed by feeling like we aren’t just in this alone. We feel all your tiny tentacles reaching into our pit of fear trying to hoist us up out of the muck. We know you’re there, even from afar.
Who the hell knows when this insanity will start to slow? In a lot of ways, this is a new normal that we as a small business will have to navigate blindly, but we’re really thankful that all of you are here to hold our hands through it (figuratively, of course).
We’ll be posting blogs more regularly so if there’s anything you are wanting us to write about, email me (SARAH) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Operations Partner, Creative Director