The front sign of Georgetown shop, Ella-Rue. Image Credit: Daryl Perry for The Campus Trainer.
Sign on the front of Ella-Rue's entrance. Image Credit: Daryl Perry for The Campus Trainer .
Krista Johhnson, owner of Ella-Rue, is thankful for the loyal customers of her Georgetown boutique during the pandemic. “Having a small business, the only way that you can survive this is through your loyal customers,” she said. Her clients reached out to her to check up on the store, and were worried about it closing. “I realize that we are really loved and I wanna make sure that we stay open for a long, long, time,” Johhnson said.
Shoe and jewelry display in the store. Image Credit: Daryl Perry for The Campus Trainer.
Johhnson cites the store’s cozy and welcoming environment, “it almost feels like a friend’s closet,” along with her and the store associates’ general attitudes as creating the experience that brings customer loyalty. “We try to make everyone feel very relaxed, very welcomed. It’s not hard to ‘cause we just act like ourselves,” the owner said.
Another one of the store's displays. Image Credit: Daryl Perry for The Campus Trainer.
The shutdown affected Johhnson’s as well as many others’ businesses, but her loyal clients still supported her and the store. Now, Ella-Rue does appointment-only shopping. Johhnson said she’s seen that people are more comfortable being in the store shopping and trying on clothes alone because they feel safer. This method has helped their sales.
The store sells a variety of face masks. Image Credit: Daryl Perry for The Campus Trainer.
In addition to new appointments, Johhnson and her staff have also made other changes to ensure the comfort of their clients. “We also clean more than ever. We were always into cleaning but now we do 10 times that,” she said. Customers also use hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer is at the front of the store. Image Credit: Daryl Perry for The Campus Trainer.
But even during the shutdown, Ella-Rue was always running. “Fortunately, during the closure we were able to launch our website,” she said. “We’re trying to pivot [to] where we’re selling more online because people still aren’t comfortable shopping indoors.”