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Small business turns to Facebook live to make sales

(WBAY)
Published: May. 3, 2020 at 7:24 PM CDT
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Not every small business has an online shopping system, instead relying on local in-person support. But this pandemic has pushed some businesses to get creative with sales promotion.

"We had to start thinking outside of the box,” said Amy Stewart, Store Manager at “You’re Special” Gifts and Collectibles in Grand Chute.

The 20-year-old, family owned "You're Special" Gifts & Collectibles doesn't have an online shopping option, so Stewart turned to social media.

"Took a social media selling course and looking at ways we could start selling,” said Stewart. “Then we started doing Facebook lives which went quite well."

Stewart's mom, and store owner, Linda Kusserow serves as the main host in the live videos - showing off some of the store's products.

"The first one went fantastic, and we're hoping this week will as well, it's been fun,” said Kusserow.

People interested in an item can either Facebook message or email the store and arrange a curbside pickup for their order.

"We were very pleased with our response, and it was so great to hear from our regular customers again and connect with them,” said Stewart.

"Our business here, our joy, is the people,” said Kusserow. “We have come to know so many wonderful people, if it wasn't for them you know it would be just another job. This is so much more than that."

Kusserow says they were fortunate enough to receive a federal PPP loan of less than $15,000, just enough to pay their employees during the pandemic and some utilities.

Product sales help cover rent and other monthly expenses.

"We've had so many fantastic responses from our customers,” said Stewart. “If they call in they're always like 'We just want to support a small business in the area.'"

That support means everything to Kusserow and Stewart, who look forward to when they can see all their customers again.

"It's going to be different we know,” said Kusserow. “We'll have to make some changes here and put up, probably, the Plexiglas and wear masks, but we're willing to do that. It'll just be fun to see our customers again."

The next Facebook Live event is scheduled for Mon. May 4. To visit the shop’s Facebook page