STORIES BY MOLLY BRIT

Local Business Owner Finds New Way to Make Money During Covid-19

Published: Oct. 16, 2020

COVID-19 has greatly impacted small and local businesses and has forced many to shut down temporarily, permanently or to furlough employees. 

Bella Kitzis working on a macrame project for The Wandering Jew Co. Photo by: Molly Britt.

With people losing their jobs and being stuck at home, they’ve needed to find ways to make money. For Bella Kitzis, this meant starting her own business.

After moving, Kitzis realized some of her plants were poisonous to her pets. She needed to find a way to hang up her plants, while still able to reach them. Thus, she taught herself how to make macrame plant hangers – a way to hang the plants from the ceiling and walls. 

Her idea to start making these hangers led to her local business – The Wandering Jew Company. 

According to Kitzis, The Wandering Jew Company mainly focuses on macrame plant hangers, wall hangings and basket weavings. At pop-ups, she sells propagated succulents in recycled glass jars, and uses scraps from the macrame to make key chains and earrings.

After learning how to make these items, she turned her personal Instagram account into a business account. Then, she began selling her products on various social media platforms. 

Social media had become an important platform for small businesses, even before COVID-19. When people were forced to stay home, it became a source of money to pay the bills. 

Now, when going on a social media platform, you are bound to see small businesses selling their products. Social media helps both businesses and customers, as some people can’t physically go purchase the items they are looking for. Selling products online has allowed extra income during these times.

Kitzis said she gained her following online by reaching out to many other small businesses and shops. She connected with local shops that were interested in selling her items in-store versus her own, strictly online shop. 

Before she knew it, she was stocked in three shops. One shop, a budding local business called Cultivate, is known for selling products from other small businesses and various plants. 

After talking to manager Amanda Mahoney, it was clear that local and small businesses are like one big community. They work together and reach out to each other to help their businesses grow. Mahoney agreed that it is nice having local artists get involved with their business.