Creativity is at the cornerstone of every business, and every owner a storyteller through merchandising and messaging that endeavors to be unique to their brand.

While in challenging times it can feel like it's enough just to keep doors open, shelves stocked and business staffed, it's the very scalability and fluidity unique to small businesses that affords owners the ability to quickly react and flex their creative muscles. While the pandemic has, without question, put creativity to the test, the five businesses profiled below have gotten their marketing mojo back and are reenergizing their efforts in exciting new ways.

 Studio 539 Flowers Owner and Creative Director Michelle Lariviere
Imaginative, bold and vibrant arrangements, scaled to the new needs of customers, is a focus of Studio 539 Flowers owner and creative director Michelle Lariviere. — Jodi Paquin Photography

Michelle Lariviere, co-owner/creative director, Studio 539 Flowers

Who we are: Providence, Rhode Island-based floral design studio specializing in arrangements for everyday, special occasions and events.

While Studio 539 Flowers typically designs many large-scale events each wedding season, we have now embraced the "minimony" concept. We work with our couples to create special, intimate affairs that stand apart from the larger weddings that have been put on hold until next year, while conforming to restrictions put in place during the pandemic. Couples have been open to design suggestions and color palettes that are bolder, more creative and outside the box.

We were faced with supply chain issues, so we explored local farms and growing our own flowers and foliages. This has resulted in magical designs that are often a welcome surprise for the couples. It has created professional growth for us while providing gorgeous, re-envisioned weddings for couples. Follow Studio 539 Flowers on Instagram: @studio539flowers.

 Box ’N Burn has taken it outside with fully-equipped, open-air boxing classes.
Box ’N Burn has taken it outside with fully equipped, open-air boxing classes. — Box 'N Burn

Emma Garden, manager, Box 'N Burn

Who we are: Los Angeles-based boxing and fitness gym.

Box ’N Burn aims to deliver a world class boxing fitness experience, whether you’re an absolute beginner who’s never worn a pair of boxing gloves or an ex-professional who wants to continue training and staying sharp.

Due to COVID-19, this year has been nothing we could have prepared for and we have had to pivot our business model and find new ways to keep the community engaged, active and healthy. We have started outdoor classes, just slightly adjusting our regular class format to make sure we are following all safety procedures and policies. It's still the same high energy, fun and killer workout, just outside in the California sunshine!

A major new addition to our business is our BNB On Demand platform, where you can access the world-famous Box 'N Burn workouts from the comfort of your home. Our on-demand service gives you plenty of variety in your workouts, including boxing, strength, equipment, stretching and kid’s workouts, as well as a full education section. Follow Box 'N Burn on Instagram: @boxnburn & Facebook: @BoxNBurn.

 exterior of talulah jones lifestyle boutique based in denver, colorado
Creative selling like drive-thru shopping events and harnessing the power of social media are getting the Talulah Jones team primed for a successful holiday gift season. — Talulah Jones

Stephanie Cortes, social media manager, Talulah Jones

Who we are: Denver, Colorado-based lifestyle boutique offering unique clothing, beauty products, home goods, toys, books and more.

The magic of Talulah Jones has always been coming into the shop and experiencing it with your hands. We have little nooks and crannies everywhere. Because of that, we do not have an online shop, and the pandemic has proved to be challenging.

We have really tried to focus our efforts on our Instagram and Facebook pages, keeping everything up to date and developing our online community. We offer private shopping appointments outside of regular business hours, in-person shopping and curbside shopping. In person, we keep a limit of five customers at a time, and sanitize the hands of everyone upon entering.

Recently, we have started a drive-thru service where we post daily "combos" on social media for customers to choose from, that way they can see an assortment of relevant gifts and prices according to the season. Customers can order any variation of our daily combos over the phone, and we place the items directly in their trunk. We have also had success with virtual shopping, calling customers via FaceTime, and showing them around the shop that way and through pictures of personalized gift baskets. Follow Talulah Jones on Instagram: @talulahjones & Facebook: @TalulahJones.

 pies baked by the upper crust bakery
A selection of freshly baked pies available for carry-out or by preorder at The Upper Crust pie bakery. — The Upper Crust

Elaine VanBuskirk, co-owner, The Upper Crust

Who we are: Overland Park, Kansas-based bakery specializing in pies and offering a curated selection of home goods.

We reopened as a pop-up bake sale after a 30-day stay-home order. Folks preordered and were able to pick up their goodies on Friday and Saturday at our front door, which was converted to a carry-out window. Having a week's lead time to receive orders to be filled was so helpful because we only baked to order and all orders were prepaid. We had an overwhelming response to our first phase of re-opening.

We also adjusted our “3rd Friday Pie Flight” special from walk-in ordering to taking preorders on our website. Customers picked up their orders at our back door drive-thru service. It actually simplified our pie flight night. Creativity and keeping our customers informed have been key drivers of our success during Covid, utilizing social media and direct email marketing as well as eye-catching sidewalk signage. All of that, and staying positive and grateful. We are so happy with the results that we may never go back to the way we used to do it! Follow The Upper Crust on Instagram: @theuppercrust.

 candles by wick therapy candle
Wick Therapy Candle’s virtual DIY Bar turns out beautifully, custom-scented candles based on individual profiles and preferences. — Wick Therapy Candle

Jhazlyn Sanders, candle maker and store owner, Wick Therapy Candle

Who we are: Beavercreek, Ohio-based makers of handcrafted, soy-based, aromatherapy candles and room sprays.

Candle making is such an interactive and fun experience. There is so much joy in finding the perfect scent to fill your room.

To make sure customers have access to us, we have added our DIY Bar online. Throughout COVID-19, we want our guests to still have the ability to create their perfect scent virtually. With over 100 scents to choose from, customers are invited to take our five-question survey to help narrow down options. Then they select a container and up to three scents. Post-purchase, we make and fill the order and, right to your doorstep, a custom scented candle created by you is delivered. Although my business didn’t get to experience spring and summer, we have found a way to keep going. Follow Wick Therapy Candle on Instagram: @wicktherapycandle & Facebook: @wicktherapycandle.

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Published November 18, 2020