May 2020

Staying in Business During Quarantine

How to Think Outside of the Box in Challenging Times


Amidst these hard times for business owners and employees alike, there are many creative individuals coming up with different ways to keep money rolling in and change their business.

Construction worker, Michael Cyr, 55, has seen business slow because of the stay-at-home order. He has come up with a meaningful project and way to keep income rolling in during this time. Cyr is making individual planter boxes for people’s outdoor gardens. Cyr recalls planting produce with his father, being fascinated with watching it grow, and going out into the garden to eat fresh veggies. He hopes that by making these planter boxes, kids can also have the enriching experience that he had, and now with most people out of work, adults can even learn a thing or two about gardening. He says that he can make almost any kind of box, and it can be an art project as well, for kids can paint these boxes. They can serve as the focal point to a garden or just a starting point to a multitude of garden projects. If you are interested in these, you can email him directly at [email protected]

Hairstylist, Kendra Guisado, 43, at Evolve Beauty Lounge in Capitola, which is closed by law, is offering custom color kits for purchase to do at-home coloring. Guisado has been doing hair for 24 years, and is scared about being able to make a steady income and fears restrictions proceeding at the salon.

“My industry is always changing and evolving,” she says. “This is definitely a hurdle I didn’t anticipate. However I’ve always thought, wouldn’t it be great if we as hairstylists could somehow do virtual hair? I am helping my clients by offering custom color kits through my website for them to use at home. Once they receive their kit we will Facetime each other and I walk them through the process step by step.  I am able to answer any questions or concerns they might have during the process.”

Guisado says that this will never replace in person styling, but she is flirting with the idea of keeping this going once the pandemic is over. She is optimistic that once we are back to work we will be able to thrive thanks to the support of their clients. 
West Performing Arts of Santa Cruz, has found a safe, and fun solution to throw birthdays for kids of all ages.  Using Zoom screen sharing, Hunter Wallraff, the charismatic and comical Director of Improv Programs for West, leads kids in an online party.  Hunter uses his wit, and humor to engage the kids and lead them through a series of fun and active games.  He’ll get the kids jumping around and pretending to be various characters and animals while playing Charades, or have the kids drawing in front of the camera during games of Pictionary.  Hunter provides a fun, funny, and energetic atmosphere for the kids to be kids.

The family of one 7-year-old gave the experience a big thumbs up and they got amazing thank you letters from all the attendees.

West Creative Performing Arts can be contacted at
Brian Hallin (who happens to be my father)owns a small promotional product company, Adventures in Advertising. Since promotional products are mainly used at events and gatherings, his business has almost completely come to a halt. Hallin has been doing a lot of back end work that he would not normally have the time for during regular business. He is cleaning up lead lists, emailing potential new clients, and doing much needed organizational work. 

How are you evolving your business to meet the restriction of COVID 19? Send GUISC your stories. Send them to [email protected]

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