Petersburg Pickers, a consignment shop, is now open for business in its new location at 2 Sycamore Street in downtown Petersburg. Kimberly Ann Calos, the owner, was forced to innovate to keep her business alive during the pandemic.
PETERSBURG - When Kimberly Ann Calos decided to move into an apartment on Sycamore Street in downtown Petersburg, she looked on the newly renovated retail location directly downstairs from her new home with envy.
Calos’ has been in business for 30 years, owning shops in several locations and under several names. The most recent iteration was located in a retro-fitted warehouse, in a location with limited walk-up traffic.
Always aware of the ever-changing trends in the retail business, Calos knew she needed to make a move, and this new location under her apartment had a prime location on the precipice of Old Towne, with direct access to I-95. The freshly renovated hardwood floors and large shop windows just added to the spot’s potential.
“I couldn’t stand seeing a beautifully renovated space ... sit empty any longer,” Calos said, via email.
Calos decided to make the five-block move, and bring her consignment shop, Petersburg Pickers, closer to the bustling small business hub of Old Towne, to 2 Sycamore Street, on the corner of Sycamore and Washington streets.
Just after as Calos cut the agreement for the move, though, the COVID-19 pandemic came to the forefront of daily life. State governments across the country, including Virginia, issued social distancing mandates, stay-at-home orders and asked people to self-quarantine to help fight the spread of the deadly disease. Businesses across the country closed their doors for months to comply with the regulations.
Quite the time to take the risk of moving your business. Fortunately Petersburg Pickers, Calos had a knack for innovation.
Long reliant on her brick-and-mortar business, Calos had never sought a strong online presence. Desperate times, though, called for out-of-the-box thinking.
“When times are tough, there’s still hope for a bright future,” Calos said.
Unable to create an in-person shopping experience, Calos turned digital, creating petersburgpickers.com, which offered online sales and curbside pickup.
The changes kept Calos’ afloat during the pandemic, and now, after regulations have been eased, allowing businesses to re-open, Calos and her store are ready to bring-in new business at her new location.
“I cannot stress how fortunate I have been as a small business owner during a pandemic,” she said.
Perhaps the best part for Calos is that now she’ll only have to take a short walk down the stairs to get from home to work.
“I’m so excited to be back in Old Towne again,” Calos said.
Kristi K. Higgins can be reacehd at email@example.com. Jeff Milby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.