“I liked the fact that the Small Business Center went into ‘save small business’ mode early in the COVID crisis,” Schoefield said. “I felt like I wasn’t in it by myself. Someone else believed in what I was doing, whether they had a boutique or not, and that helped me believe I could get through it.”
With the help of her BRACE coach, Schoefield shifted gears while staying true to her brand. Instead of marketing to an audience of women who were buying items for special occasions, church and parties, she transitioned to what she calls “Zoom wear,” concentrating on helping them enhance their online appearance while working from home.
Schoefield revamped her website, expanded e-commerce options and began broadcasting Facebook Live sale sessions to engage customers in real time. She also began offering what she calls “virtual personal shopping,” where customers can contact her by cellphone or Zoom and she helps them shop. “I can look at them, and they can let me know their measurements, and we can pick out items to match their body type,” she explained.
Schoefield continues to look to the future of the boutique, which bears her first and middle names, and is the symbol of her survival in more ways than one. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and given less than a year to live, she told herself that, if she survived, she would launch her dream boutique.