Essential businesses co-op with non-essential shops to sell products

Businesses are coming together to help one another during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Chi Chi Crocker was preparing for the big grand opening of her business, Rustic Love Vintage & More.

"I sell custom paint, antiques, and furniture and decor," Crocker explained. "Our grand opening was to be on April 4 but that couldn't happen because we were in a shutdown."

She wasn't considered an essential business so she had to close her doors.

"We're trying now to go on the website and social media to try and sell stuff because we can't survive without it right now," she said.

A few doors down from Rustic Love, Kristina Lavallee operates The Cake Girl Bakery. She heard about Crocker's plight and baked up a plan to help.

"We wanted to help our neighbors out," said Lavallee. "Everybody is struggling, everybody is in the same boat."

Because her business is allowed to be open, she teamed up with Crocker to sell DIY kits from her shop.

"That has been a blessing because right now is when people must stick together," said Crocker."Help each other and do the best they can."

She was amazed by Lavallee's generosity.    

"We just become friends from here and for them to step up like that is something that we will never forget," Lavallee says. "I feel like helping out in this difficult time its something that we love to do we love helping out."

Crocker's DIY kits are small projects designed for children. They can be purchased at The Cake Girl at 13713 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618.

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