Written by Kylie Ross Sibert

Despite the uncertainty small business owners are feeling so far this holiday season, these 10 local small business owners and entrepreneurs have either managed to launch a new business or expanded their existing business during the pandemic. This is positive news for our region and the struggling small business industry, says Retail Alliance.

Blown Away Salon
City: Hayes & Yorktown
Opening Date: Opened in York County on March 1, 2020. They closed their doors March 18 due to COVID and reopened in May.
Contact: Candi Michelle Green
Website:  www.blownawaysalonva.com

About: Blown Away Salon takes pride in providing the best salon experience. Established in 2011, Blown Away has been voted Best Salon in Gloucester as well as being honored as a Top 200 Salon in the US. They have also earned the “Love Gloucester Award” in their community. Blown Away is a proud apprenticeship salon, priding themselves on continuing education and growing the younger generation in the beauty industry. Their apprentices and associates work alongside skilled stylists so they can guide and direct them into completing what they call the “Masters Program”. They always make sure that their guests receive a thorough consultation and pampering while in the salon, offering warm towels with each service and a complimentary chair and hand massage with a massage therapist.

COVID Update: EXPANSION – They opened the doors to their second location in Yorktown on March 1, but a few weeks later they had to shut them due to COVID. They eventually reopened in May 2020.

Blown Away Salon photo
Bonaire Custom photo

Bonaire Custom
City: Norfolk-Downtown
Opening Date: January 2021
Contact:  Mike Kindle
Website:  www.bonairecustom.com

About:  Bonaire will offer premiere custom clothes for men and women. Clothes will be made using a 3-D printer and custom made to each person’s specifications. There will be a coffee bar for customers to enjoy during the process.

COVID Update: OPENING – They are still planning on opening in January 2021. This is an exciting and unique type of business that, as far as we know, has never been tried before in Hampton Roads.

Edgewood Outfitters, LLC

City: Williamsburg
Opening Date: November 20, 2020
Contact: Gabrielle Mueller
Website:  https://www.facebook.com/EO757

About: Edgewood Outfitters is a lifestyle brand that markets and sells trendy styles to classic staples of high-quality clothing for young men and women. Included in the collection of products offered by EO are casual basics like jeans, hoodies, graphic tees, fashion tops, joggers, loungewear, intimates, and functional items like outerwear, footwear, and accessories.

COVID Update: OPENING – They are a local business that just opened in the Williamsburg Outlet Mall (having a local business in the outlet mall is unusual in itself). They opened in November but have struggled in getting foot traffic.

Edgewood Outfitters photo
HempHaven Ch

Hemp Haven

City: Chesapeake
Opening Date:  August 1, 2020
Contact:  Denise Foster, PhD
Website:  https://chesapeake.hemphaven.store/

About:  Dr. Denise Foster, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE has practiced professional nursing for over 35 years. Beginning at the bedside in orthopedic and critical care, she transitioned to home health, where she began to recognize the benefits of medical cannabis when the HIV/AIDS epidemic swept the nation in the 1980s. Acknowledging that the use of medical marijuana helped patients with their pain, appetite, and mood, Dr. Foster became an advocate for its use as a therapeutic treatment. In the decades since working in home health, Dr. Foster has worked in the field of higher education, providing nursing instruction to students in associate, baccalaureate, RN-to-BSN, and graduate degree nursing programs. As a holistic practitioner, Dr. Foster’s research interests include the benefits and use of mindfulness practice and cannabis sciences, including the endocannabinoid system and cannabis pharmacology and use as a medicament. Dr. Foster believes that the use of medical cannabis is one of several complementary therapies that could potentially prevent the onset of disease and assist many chronically and acutely ill patients achieve optimal health in mind, body, and spirit.

COVID Update: OPENING – Upon opening, foot traffic was slow. Traffic has begun to build over the last months, partly attributed to the anxiety people are experiencing due to COVID.

HortiCulture Design Co.

Cities: Norfolk & Virginia Beach
Opening Date Norfolk:  June 19, 2020
Opening Date Virginia Beach: Tentative December, 2020
Contact:  Becky Devlin
Website:  www.horticulturedesignco.com

About:  Horticulture Design Co. is the love child of Becky Devlin, previous owner of floral design studio Roost Flowers and Virginia flower farm Back Bay Flower Co. Becky’s love for flowers and plants started after her grandmother shared her gardening hobby and Becky decided she needed to grow every flower that existed. Armed with a book about starting flowers from seed, Becky proceeded to start a massive flower garden. The seeds grew and the flowers bloomed! There was no turning back and Roost Flowers was born.  After 14 years of designing flowers and sharing her obsession with plants and her love of beautifully crafted goods, Becky has combined her passions into the awesomeness that is now HortiCulture Design Co.

COVID Update:  OPENING & EXPANSION – Her Norfolk location has adapted to COVID restrictions with business going well. Becky will be opening another store in Virginia Beach in December 2020.

lilac lane photo grand opening

Lilac Lane

City: Yorktown
Opening Date: Expansion into bigger, new location date: September 1, 2020
Contact: Kim Kellogg
Website: https://lilaclanediy.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LilacLaneDIY/

About:  DIY Studio, take-out craft kits, consignment store

COVID Update: EXPANSION – Closed Hampton store at end of August 2020 and moved all her inventory to a bigger 1,600 sq ft space in York Village Shopping Center in Yorktown at the beginning of September. Now using a vendor-style format, she rents space in the shop to merchants who sell antique furniture, glassware and knickknacks. On the DIY side, Kellogg started to offer take-home kits in March after she was forced to temporarily shut down because of the pandemic. During the pandemic, she produced take-home kits (paint-your-own-pottery, sign, card and banner set-ups, door hangers, and wreaths) and did live videos to show people how to make them. Kim offered curbside pickup and delivery for the kits. She also launched a craft-based membership service. Subscribers pay $19 a month for live or recorded videos or $37 a month for online instruction plus a box of materials to make projects. In-person classes and private parties have started again, although with a limited number of participants due to social-distancing guidelines.

Pawsnickety Pets

City: Norfolk-Ghent
Opening Date:  December 10, 2020
Contact:  Kaycee McCoy
Website: pawsnicketypets.com

About: At Pawsnickety Pets you can find a wide variety of all-natural food, treats, and holistic supplements, as well as plenty of accessories such as collars, dog beds, leashes, and raincoats. Some of their most popular brands include Stella & Chewy’s, VERUS, Orijen, Dr. Harvey’s, Grandma Lucy’s, Balanced Life, and Fromm. They offer a wide variety of kibble, raw freeze-dried, and raw frozen. Pawsnickety Pets is owned by dog mama Shizuka Benton and cat lady Kaycee J. McCoy. When both of these pet parents are not doting on their fur children or working at the Pawsnickety store you’ll most likely find them working at their other businesses. Shizuka is an operations & management whiz with a penchant for systems and processes at her company Shizuka Benton Consulting LLC.  Kaycee has a wild passion for all things marketing and design and has owned the award-winning Create/Captivate Digital Marketing Agency since 2017. The combination of these two polar opposite brains is what makes shopping at Pawsnickety such a fun, unique experience.

COVID Update: OPENING – They only opened less than a week ago but have had a lot of foot traffic and website traffic. They are offering curbside and local delivery with a $50 min. order.

Perfectly Natural Soap owner photo

Perfectly Natural Soaps 

City: Norfolk-Ghent
Opening Date:  December 10, 2020
Contact:  Kaycee McCoy
Website: pawsnicketypets.com

About: At Pawsnickety Pets you can find a wide variety of all-natural food, treats, and holistic supplements, as well as plenty of accessories such as collars, dog beds, leashes, and raincoats. Some of their most popular brands include Stella & Chewy’s, VERUS, Orijen, Dr. Harvey’s, Grandma Lucy’s, Balanced Life, and Fromm. They offer a wide variety of kibble, raw freeze-dried, and raw frozen. Pawsnickety Pets is owned by dog mama Shizuka Benton and cat lady Kaycee J. McCoy. When both of these pet parents are not doting on their fur children or working at the Pawsnickety store you’ll most likely find them working at their other businesses. Shizuka is an operations & management whiz with a penchant for systems and processes at her company Shizuka Benton Consulting LLC.  Kaycee has a wild passion for all things marketing and design and has owned the award-winning Create/Captivate Digital Marketing Agency since 2017. The combination of these two polar opposite brains is what makes shopping at Pawsnickety such a fun, unique experience.

COVID Update: OPENING – They only opened less than a week ago but have had a lot of foot traffic and website traffic. They are offering curbside and local delivery with a $50 min. order.

Pixelated Boutique

Opening Date:  December 19, 2020
Contact:  Vy Do
Website:  www.pixelatedboutique.com

About: Pixelated is a boutique located in Virginia Beach which opens on December 19, 2020. Inspired by the casual beach-living lifestyle, their merchandise is curated to bring authenticity to reflect the customers most authentic self. The owners are constantly discovering eccentric pieces, transforming casual, versatile items into unique outfits. All pieces are handpicked to ensure quality and how they personally feel wearing them, because when you look great, you feel great.

COVID Update: OPENING – Opening is scheduled to proceed on December 19, 2020.

Pixelated Boutique
Williamsburg Drug Co exterior photo

Williamsburg Drug Company

City: Williamsburg
Opening Date: November 11, 2019 (just prior to pandemic)
Contact: Lisa Genakos
Websitewww.williamsburgdrug.com

About: Williamsburg Drug Company opened in 1895 and celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. They offer services such as rentals (e.g. knee walker, wheelchairs), specialty gifts, medical equipment and supplies, functional testing, and CBD Cannabidiol. Opened 2nd location late 2019 off James River Rd but planned to do ribbon cutting in 2020 in conjunction with their 125th anniversary.

COVID Update: EXPANSION – When the pandemic started, WDC had to cancel their public educational presentations and the pharmacist who visits the practitioners could no longer go into their offices. They had a catered affair called “Compounds and Cocktails” planned but had to cancel. The event is for practitioners to see the new pharmacy and compounding labs.

While sales were down their deliveries had tripled as prescription customers took advantage of their free delivery. This was an added expense as they had to hire someone, but they were grateful they could help their customers continue to get their medication. They do a lot of COVID testing now. People have sought them out for their quality supplements to help boost their immune system. Walk-in business is nowhere near what it was (people heading to Busch Gardens would stop in) which continues to affect their bottom line.