A letter to the local business community from the Youth Board | 3/28/20

Dear Seattle Made community,

It has most certainly been a crazy couple of weeks, from the shut down of our schools to the closure of many of our beloved social spaces. With the absence of many of Seattle’s trademark markets, cafes, restaurants, and stores in our everyday lives, the city feels much less like itself.

Seeing all this, the Seattle Made Youth Board has felt the need, more than ever, to help support our local small businesses.

With that being said, we are very excited to announce our new series, “First Person,” a collection of short, raw narratives detailing the drastic impact of the novel virus on the makers of our local community.  Watch out for our monthly to bi-monthly publications on both our Instagram page (@_seattlemade ) and here on our site. If you are a Seattle Made business looking to share your sustainability story and being featured in this series, please contact Linda Yan, Seattle Made Youth Board member or fill out this form. To find resources and information for the general public looking to support local businesses and community, and for our local businesses looking for relief, promotion, and tools to navigate these uncharted economic waters, visit the Seattle Good Business Network Support Hub. Once again, thank you for support to the Seattle Made community, we cannot wait to take you along on this exciting new journey.

Check out the happenings on our Seattle Made Instagram and Facebook!

Supporting Businesses Virtually & Our Gift Guide!

With the stay at home order in place, many businesses are now relying solely on online orders for revenue. So, consider it the perfect excuse to get that jacket you’ve been eyeing, or to buy someone special a card. Alternatively, many businesses are also offering gift cards for purchase now. Need a bit inspiration? Check out the Seattle Made Youth Board’s small business gift guide below!

First Person Series Features

Patty Pan Cooperative

“We’re mainly known as a farmers market staple (oldest market concession in Seattle!), grilling up hot quesadillas as well as selling our frozen products. We have proudly brought locally sourced, consciously crafted food to the Seattle area for over 20 years and have been worker owned since 2013.

With the outbreak, we’ve been ramping up our home delivery operation as well as wholesale to places like PCC, but hours are still cut for most of our members. If people would like to support us, they can order frozen tamales, burritos, seasonal meals, fresh tortillas, chocolate bars, and more through our website (https://patty-pan-coop.square.site/).”

Broadcast Coffee Roasters

“Broadcast Coffee Roasters, named in honor of Barry Faught, our founder’s dad’s lifelong passion for radio, began in 2008 and has since then expanded to three cafes around Seattle. Our goal from the get go was to spread love and acceptance through hospitality and delicious drinks.
These days, business is much different from how we knew it. We’ve transformed from bustling, community driven cafes to takeaway only spots, all which are open daily from 7 am to 2 pm and are stocked with our usual fares. We’re a reprieve while you enjoy some fresh air from isolation. We have also started taking online orders for our blends via our website.”

Subsonic Skateboards

“ The reality is that the outbreak has had negative impacts all over the board, but were holding our head up high and looking forward to solutions and a better future. We operate a skateboard manufacturing warehouse, full of woodworking and machinery, and respirators are hard to find these days, and the health and safety of our own crew is paramount. We’ve moved down to a skeleton crew and are taking extensive sanitation and safety measures to protect those most crucial to us. Sales wise, we’re lucky. skateboarding can be a social-distancing-safe sport so we can still proceed, and support our customers with goods through this time. Our boards can still be ordered from our website https://subsonicskateboards.com/ .
The greatest challenge we, and everyone else are facing right now, is answering the question of, how do we make sure the lights stay on in this new world? With commerce moving to internet traffic exclusively, how do we maintain a viable, long term business model, until this all blows over? We have our own answers and we encourage other local businesses to start seeking the same answers, soon. Don’t panic, but look at the reality of our situation and start making changes now. Remember to support the businesses you want to see stick around through all this. Money is tight for everybody right now, but this doesn’t have to be about money. Share photos of your favorite subsonic boards, make jokes about our latest post on Instagram in the comment section, and share photos of the cool customs boards we make with your friends. You can stay healthy and safe and do all this from the comfort of your own home. Maybe your interaction will put our product in front of someone who’s looking for a locally manufactured skateboard, and that is what will help us make it through this. “

“Hello! We are MarninSaylor, the tasty pastry toy shop, and our mission is to create uncommon objects to inspire joy and wonder, while emphasizing craftsmanship, ethical practices, and memorable experiences. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak it’s been pretty crazy! We had to close our new store at Pike Place Market when they asked all non-essential businesses to close on Tuesday. We just opened the store at the end of November last year and were so excited by how well everything was going. We’re hoping we’ll be able to hang on and reopen once things settle down. For now, we are encouraging everyone to shop on our website (MarninSaylor.com). We are fortunate to have received a lot of orders over the past few days, and hopefully we will continue to have access to our studio so we can keep making and shipping. :)”

“Moo-Young is known for its obsession with shibori and leather and exquisite hand-dyed pieces. Like everybody I know and feel for, Moo-Young has been dramatically affected by these uncertain times and my spring shows have all been canceled. Last week I flew to Atlanta for a huge Craft Council show.  I went from the airport to the venue, started setting up and then it was suddenly cancelled. For weeks before I had been working hard at making new, one of a kind pieces. I completely understand the decision, but the impact is devastating. As a working artist, sales at shows are necessary for survival. The good news is now I have a lot of beautiful pieces available. I’ll be asking for your help to stay afloat during the next few months through purchases on my website (https://www.shopmoo-young.com/), albeit I know that many of you will be reigning in all but essential spending. For those who are less affected and as a thank you, I’ll be offering discounts in order to cover materials and overhead expenses necessary to get through the storm. It feels odd to be offering discounts as though it’s business as usual. It isn’t. I am part of an interdependent community that includes my suppliers, employees and customers.”

Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry

“Valerie Madison Fine Jewelry studio was born with the vision to design and create quality, aesthetically pleasing jewelry. All of our designs are handcrafted proudly here in Seattle and made from high-quality precious metals from recycled sources.
Prior to the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we were already planning a studio closure for a few weeks to move to our new showroom in Madrona this spring (which makes for very conflicting emotions, both the excitement of this new chapter and the nervousness surrounding the local economy). While we were already planning to shift to virtual appointments and continue our support with clients via phone, email and Instagram, the need is just greater now. We’ve had the opportunity to be both an online retailer and entertain in-person appointments and events in our first years of business, and the impacts from COVID-19 means that we need to keep the emphasis online for everyone’s health and safety. We are also operating under reduced studio hours so our team can work from home safely. In the meantime, our customers’ support with online purchases (via https://www.valeriemadison.com/), social media shares, and even just positive notes of encouragement mean so much to our small team.”

“From the start, the sole purpose of Damoori Kitchen has been sharing authentic Lebanese cuisine created from generations of family recipes with families everywhere. For us, the best part is sharing that mezze style meal with friends and family, unhurried, full of stories and lots of laughter. A Lebanese meal is as much about the experience as it is the ingredients.

The outbreak has impacted us immensely as about 75% of our business is with corporate catering, which has completely dried up. We had also just completed a build out and moved into our new space in Magnolia. We got the OK to occupy about two weeks ago in the midst of everything and unfortunately, cannot fully open yet. On the bright side however, we have just started a special menu every Friday for curbside pick up. The first one will be this Friday (3/27)! All homestyle Lebanese cooking! Hope to see you all there!”

”From the beginning, Firefly Kitchens has been on a mission to create the freshest, most vibrant organic ferments around.
We make our products the old-fashioned way, because ferments need time to cultivate their probiotic power and tasty tang. 

We’ve made a number of positive changes since the appearance of the novel virus in Seattle. Namely, we’ve started offering health insurance as well as a $2/hour raise for our staff. We’ve joined 1% for the Planet — committing to donate at least 1% of our sales. Starting in mid-May,  we’ll also be donating food to Farestart to support the 7,000 meals they are preparing each day. We’re also doing more online orders than ever and exploring how we can make it easy and safe for people to buy our immunity boosting foods. This pandemic has been an opportunity for us to live our values even more deeply in how we care for our staff and our community. Our ferments can currently be purchased either directly through our online store (free shipping included!) or at including Whole Foods, QFC, and the Metropolitan Market.”

“Street Treats, the original dessert food truck of Seattle, was founded in the summer of 2010 by Diane after purchasing a truck off of eBay. We make our premium ice cream and cookies (including vegan options!) from scratch using only the highest quality ingredients.

We have been impacted big time by the pandemic! Most of our business is catering, specifically to corporate events and weddings, which are now virtually non-existent. We also have wholesale business which has been affected, as most of it is coffee shops which are slowly reopening.

Currently, we have our truck  out in neighborhoods Wednesday through Sunday and our Olivia’s Ice Cream Cookie Bites can be found in local grocery stores including QFC, the Metropolitan Market, as well as Town and Country Markets. Additionally, We currently offer contactless delivery options which can be found on our website.

“It’s been said that wine reflects its environment. Elsom Cellars’ wines are filled with the clatter of artisans working hard at their winemaking craft, sharing stories, kids laughing. It’s hard to explain, but somehow it all ends up in the bottle. 

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, we were having one of the best first quarters we had seen as a winery and were so excited to roll into the busy summer season. Circumstances change all the time though, and we are now committed to keeping our community connected in a whole new way. We have always been deeply committed to ensuring that the groups out there making a real difference can continue to do so, and we try to support that through our product and our venue. The venue is no longer an option,  so we turned our focus to our products. We partnered with our neighbor distiller 2bar Spirits and donated 400 gallons of wine to be distilled into hand sanitizer. Half that product will be donated to local hospitals while the other half will be given out to customers who make a purchase.

Our products can still be ordered through our online storefront. We have also partnered with Seattle Good Business Network, on Virtual Dinner Party Kits which can be ordered via the Seattle Good Website.”

”Family-owned and run, Misty Mountain (no connection to the Lord of the Rings, sadly) manufactures high-quality sewn goods, including aprons and tote bags, to businesses in Seattle and beyond for screen printing. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve had to change many of our standard operating procedures to adhere to state health guidelines and regulations, including by conducting temperature checks and setting up sanitation stations in our workspaces. To address the health concerns of our employees, we developed a help and safety plan handbook which we translated into multiple languages and held conference calls with families to make sure that they were comfortable in the transition back to work.

Although we’ve faced many challenges, we’ve also been fortunate enough to engage in new opportunities and forge new partnerships with other local Seattle businesses, including the Gorilla Print Shop who we have created a face mask line with. We’ve also been able to contribute to our community during these dire times by donating some of our masks to nonprofits including the International Rescue Committee and Treehouse. Currently, we’re working on starting our own tote bag line, so be sure to stay tuned for that! You can preview and order our products via our website.

If you are a Seattle Made business looking to share your sustainability story and being featured in this series, please contact Linda Yan, Seattle Made Youth Board member.