When the COVID-19 pandemic was first becoming a national concern, Sarah Barstow decided to close the doors of her business, even though it wasn’t required and she had just done a large amount of inventory purchasing for her Main Street shop, The Rave’N Image (59 S. Main St. #5). The Rave’N Image, which Barstow opened in 2003, sells unique and artful clothing, accessories and jewelry under the slogan “Adventure in Style.”
The Rave’N Image recently reopened with limited hours and the option of “personalized shopping services” in which individuals or smaller groups call and set up an appointment to shop without any other customers in the store. This allows Barstow to maintain a high level of virus-preventing cleanliness in her shop.
Barstow said masks are required in her business, and free masks are available on site along with hand sanitizer. She’s capped the business occupancy during open hours at a max of 10, though she said that hasn’t been an issue so far.
Having limited hours and business occupancy helps her protect the health of customers and staff, Barstow said. She can see what’s been “touched, but not purchased” and ensure the cleanliness of those items. And, she said, having small groups in the store means she can “connect” with her customers “without the stress of health concerns.”
Inventory in The Rave’N Image includes “great summer dresses, rompers, bathing suits...lots of amazing and unique jewelry, wallets, shorts for guys, really great men’s shirts, cute shorts [for women],” Barstow said. “We do have a lot of great things for this time of year, clothes-wise, and beautiful jewelry.”
And, she added, The Rave’N Image has a selection of “lovely masks” for sale.
The “bargain table” in the back of the store has been extra popular lately, Barstow noted, attributing this to the financial strain that many in the community are feeling.
While Barstow said she feels confident in the long-term financial health of her business, she was candid about the difficulties that the pandemic has created, both as a business owner and a parent. Barstow’s youngest child is 3 years old, and finding childcare so she can work has been an issue since his preschool shut down due to the pandemic. She said she doesn’t feel comfortable bringing him to the shop, as “children naturally touch a lot of things,” which is not ideal even in normal times, but especially in a public health crisis.
“I would feel horrible if someone got sick and it came from my shop,” Barstow said.
Barstow said she has been able to access some of the government assistance programs designed to help small businesses cope with the economic fallout from COVID-19, and has cut all non-essential expenses.
“I’m just trying to pay my bills and protect my staff and customers,” she said.
The Rave’N Image is open on Thursdays through Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Individuals or groups who would like to make a personalized shopping appointment may call Barstow at 435-319-0058. Inventory and more information about The Rave’N Image may be found on its website, www.theravenimage.com. The Rave’N Image may also be followed on Facebook and Instagram.