Wyndmoor photographer Wendy Concannon, whose gallery is at the corner of Willow Grove and Germantown Avenues, just opened an art installation that runs till the end of May in her two big gallery windows called “#UntilWeTravelAgain.”

by Len Lear

Despite the excruciating hardships imposed on small local businesses by the pandemic, many businesses are finding new, innovative ways to survive. Here are just a few examples:

Brian Reisman, Hideaway Music, 8612 Germantown Ave. (hideawaymusic.org):

“We’ve been trying to keep busy with online sales. We also have been offering our customers curbside pick-up with certain products as well as gift certificates. Our regular customers have been amazingly supportive. We recently sold tickets to an online screening of a new film about the vinyl revival. The response was tremendous with over 35 ticket sales! We can’t wait to reopen, but everything is so uncertain. We miss the hustle and bustle of The Hill.”

Paula Fingerut, Zipf’s Candies (215-248-1877), 8433-B Germantown Ave.:

“I’m just doing what I need to do to try and keep Zipf’s Candies going. I’m shipping and doing local deliveries and phone orders. The candy store is all about the experience, though. It’s hard to convey that experience during these trying times. The community has been absolutely wonderful and so supportive, though! I can feel the love that’s out there for Zipf’s Candies.”

Wendy Concannon Photography, 8001 Germantown Ave. (wendyconcannon.com):

“Thank you for reaching out. I have a large and really cool art installation that just opened April 29 and runs till the end of May in my two big gallery windows called ‘#UntilWeTravelAgain.’ It features 50 colorful travel photos from around the world and messages of hope. It is meant to be an uplifting and inspirational piece for our community during these difficult times.

“Most clients like to physically see the art in person before making a purchase, but I am lucky because I also do a good amount of sales online through my website and social media. Instead of being burdened by what I can’t do, I am trying to use this time to explore new creative ideas for my business.”

Amy Pettyjohn, True Skin (medical laser spa), 631 Bethlehem Pike, Erdenheim (trueskin4u.com):

“We miss our clients and can’t wait to be with them again! Since closing, we’ve been trying to stay connected to our clients using social media and emails. We are currently doing a #trueskinwaterchallenge, challenging our followers to drink 100 ounces of water a day. We know life is hard right now, and calorie and alcohol consumption are up, and we’re not trying to motivate you to give those things up (yet) but to just add 100 ounces of water a day to your life!

“We’re also planning a Q&A social media chat and possibly a virtual happy hour!Throughout the entire stay-at-home orders duration, we’ve also been running a BOGO on gift certificates online. We love the support from the community to want to help small businesses during this time by purchasing gift certificates to be used when we’re allowed out … We’re so thankful to the frontline people out there, to everyone who is playing a part in keeping us healthy, safe, stocked up on food and deliveries, etc. And we wish everyone peace and health during this crazy season of life.”

Vickie Spangler, Certified Jewelry Appraiser and Gemologist, Delphine Gallery, 8435 Germantown Ave. (215-248-3855):

“I am part of the Hospital and Face Mask Sewing Project based In Springfield Township, created by Ellen Stevenson in Flourtown, mostly for hospital emergency workers and community organizations like food pantries. I brought out a sewing machine that hadn’t been used in years, and like many others, I learned from on-line videos made by women who patiently taught the techniques to anyone wanting to help.”

Rich McIlhenny, lifelong Mt. Airy resident and RE/MAX Services agent (rmac88@gmail.com):

“I have been able to keep a number of deals together that were under agreement before the shutdown, and a couple of others did fall apart as buyers panicked when the stock market went down and the virus really took off that second weekend in March. Overall, I’ve been spending my time following up with other clients who are now in limbo and working on those deals that I had under contract and have also spent some time working on the house.

“During the day I’ve enjoyed sitting on my porch and listening to the song birds and woodpeckers (there’s at least one pileated that I am hearing) and feeding the squirrels and mourning doves that come to visit me. We have also gone on some nice long walks through the neighborhood and Cresheim Valley, which has been very enjoyable. One of the few bright spots of this pandemic is that it has helped me to slow down and appreciate some of the simple things in life that were passing me by.”

Len Lear can be reached atlenlear@chestnuthilllocal.com

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