The last time I wrote a message was in April and we had just launched our website. I privately patted myself on the back for getting it done so quickly and felt ready to weather the covid storm that we were in. It was a bit of a celebration and combined with the wonderful instagram stories that Cody had been doing, we were working hard.
We were rewarded with a great response to the website and orders were being picked up and shipped almost every day. We were settling into the new "normal of the week" and were planning a fundraiser for the Senior Center. (Still to come!)
As stores began reopening in May, we hesitated. We took our time to order the necessary things to stay safe and tidy the shop. We had a tentative opening date of May 30th. And then George Floyd was killed on May 25th, 2020. By the next day, we were pulled back into yet another emotional flux.
We decided to join with many other businesses that felt vulnerable on the main streets of Old Pasadena and boarded our windows for a week. In my heart, I didn't think things would get out of hand, but I have adopted a very strong sense of "better safe than sorry" these days. Even though all protests were peaceful and we had to delay our re-opening, we are happy to have made that decision and not lose any sleep over what might have happened.
When we took the boards down, (except for one, which will become a mural) we had a fresh, clean store with a new window installation. And the people came! Not a lot, but it was so wonderful to talk to customers face to face! It started to feel a little normal again.
What we have realized is that the new normal now includes mask, hand sanitizer and disinfectant as well as listening, learning and understanding the ongoing struggles that the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) community live with and how we can be a part of the conversation and the change that needs to happen now.
We want to thank all of the donors and buyers of the "Make a Difference" Instagram Auction that just wrapped. Together, we raised almost $9,000 for the Pasadena NAACP and Black Lives Matter. We will continue to conscientiously look for merchandise that will support BIPOC artists as well as books and other products that shine a light on the fight for equality and the stories behind the struggle.
We believe our ethos of supporting our community, local artists and small business has always included supporting and welcoming ALL people and that will continue to be what Homage stands for.
We are grateful for the ongoing support of the shop and website. Most of you are fans of small business and we thank you for supporting our neighbors as well. We cannot survive alone and we enourage you to spread the wealth when you can. You can see a list of businesses that donated to the auction here.
We will be planning a fundraiser for the Pasadena Senior Center very soon but if you would like to make a donation to support their services and food program, please go here to donate.
A peek at our current window. "A World Upside Down- Seeing Things From Another Perspective"