What a wild ride my new venture into retail has turned out to be! Just six months into ownership, Covid-19 hit, and we were forced to limit business and shut down. We conducted business by phone and emails and delivered products to customers in the parking lot. Machine sales soared even with having to roll the machines into the parking lot! We sold out of machines, we sold out of black and white fabric and thread. We sold countless bolts of fabric for mask production. Although these activities provided me with the funds to pay my bills, it was the way in which quilters responded to the Covid crisis that fed my soul.
During a crisis, people’s true colors shine through. Patrons of ONQ shined through with a spirit of generosity and selflessness that I have never experienced before. A small army of women made hundreds of masks. And when they grew weary, they made hundreds more. They are, in fact, still making hundreds of masks as the crisis continues. We donated 99% of the masks that were made and delivered to the shop. Such places as St. Mary’s, senior care centers, the cancer center, the veteran’s hospital, vet offices, post offices, doctors’ offices, and the Navajo Nation are just a few of the recipients of these gifts.
Quilters have always had and nurtured a sense of community and friendship. Being able to share our gifts, talents, and time during this crisis has helped many of us get through the isolation. Although we wish we could have chosen another way to share these things, we did take this opportunity to show our true colors reflected in the colors of the masks created by our hands and hearts.