The Day the World Changed

One year ago, my life, your life and the entire world’s life changed forever.  I remember getting home from work and hearing on the news that an NBA game had been cancelled due to this thing called Covid.  I had been hearing about Covid but wasn’t really taking it seriously….until that day.  When I heard that an entire season of basketball was ending abruptly it forced me to face what was happening.  Next the conversation shifted to talk about businesses shutting down and fear across the globe.  It was becoming real, even here in Oklahoma.  Images from around the world of empty streets, empty stores, empty everything and masks!  Oh lord…. It was the beginning of the masks.

This was the time that all business owners were wondering what to do.  I had no idea what was going to happen.  I questioned decisions daily about it being safe to keep my doors open.  I would talk to my business owner friends to ask what “they thought.”  None of us knew anything, but I know that we were all scared.

I closed my store on March 18th, (2 days before the state told us we had to) and remember just feeling numb.  It almost felt like the world was ending.  I would drive down the street and cry looking at all the empty parking lots.  I was depressed for an entire week and had thoughts of just closing Crème down for good.  I had no idea how long I would have to be closed, if I could survive the shutdown, or if I even wanted to try.  I felt sorry for myself and retreated to my house like the rest of the world and discovered Tiktok.  Oh….How I love Tiktok and all of the hours of laughter that dang app brought to my life during the first part of lockdown. 

About a week in to quarantine I finally just decided I had to get up and fight!  I had to figure out a different way to run my business if I wanted to survive.  I was comfortable up to that point, so I did not change it.  I knew there were things I could be doing differently if I wanted to grow but there was no motivation to make the shift…until Covid.  I got kicked in the bottom real hard and forced to pivot.  I mean, what is a store supposed to do when the doors close and the people cannot come in?  And then it hit me.  If you can’t come to me….I’m going to bring Crème De La Crème to you.  Crème LIVE sales were born. 

All my lives during quarantine came to you from a bedroom in my house.  My son, Tyler, and I worked together to get the inventory ready, and we started going Live 1 to 2 times per week.  I am not sure how it happened, but you showed up big time through all of this.  I had a purpose, and I did not feel alone because of you.  You pulled me though a very dark time.  I was struggling behind the scenes with depression, and I am still so thankful that I had my boutique to go to.  It gave both Tyler and me a sense of normalcy and to be honest, I worked harder during pandemic and shutdown than I had ever worked in my entire life.  I will never forget the first time we packaged a shipment.  We started with 1 and we just surpassed 12,000 shipments this week.  We had tremendous growth in 2020 and I hate to say anything positive about last year because I know that many people have lost so much. But, 2020 will always be remembered as the year that I found myself, I found my tribe, and I found my passion. 

I know in my heart that this year is going to be better.  We will make it through the valley that we have walked though together and tell stories one day about “remember when.”  We will look back and realize the lessons we have learned, and my hope is that we will all become better people because of the journey we have traveled together.  Thank you so much for being a part of this with me and supporting my small business.  Crème De La Crème Boutique would be nothing without you. 

1 comment

  • Cynthia Holcomb

    Hats off to you Shelli. As a small business owner in Skiatook for a few years prior to covid, I cannot imagine the fear and obstacles you were faced with when covid hit. You are a phenomenal business owner and the loyalty you have established in our community and beyond is a true testimonial to YOU.

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