QUEENS, N.Y. - Mackenzi Farquer, owner of the Lockwood Shop Boutiques, says she's finally hopeful customers will return to her five shops in Brooklyn and Queens.
"People will come out and support us because people miss shopping I know I'm bored and want somewhere to go," Farquer said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has said retail locations can resume limited operations Monday, part of the first phase of the city's reopening from the coronavirus shutdowns.
It allows curbside pickup of purchases, or pickup inside a store if the items are packed and ready to go.
Farquer is prepping for curbside here at her store on 33rd Street in Astoria as well as at her store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Masks and hand sanitizer will be required for her staff.
"We will rearrange our stores to have a barricade so the public can't come in because we don't feel comfortable having people come in the store," Farquer said.
Until now, Farquer has been doing business exclusively online - and it has not been easy.
"The whole thing has been pretty soul crushing," Farquer said.
Before the pandemic she had 30 employees. As as her online orders picked, she hired some back. And by the middle of the month she says she'll have 12 to 15 people on the payroll. She says being closed for Mother's Day shopping took a toll.
"We only did 20 percent of the business we would expect to do," Farquer said.
She is confident she can rebound, she's been consulting with her close friends who also own small businesses. A new strategy she has in place is pictures on the doors of items in the store so people get ideas while walking by.
Farquer has specifically redesigned her store for phase one curbside pickup. She plans to keep these french doors open so people who are picking up purchases can see the rest of the store and potentially place more orders
"When it's closed or online you lose some of the magic like you can't walk in and discover something you've never seen before," Farquer said.
She hopes a return of that magic will help her business to flourish again.