Under Construction & Open for Business
Under Construction, Open for Business
Downtown Edmond is undergoing some much-needed infrastructure improvements. The project includes installation of new storm drainage pipes in multiple locations downtown, along with new streetscape parking along Edwards and Campbell Streets. While this will be a gain to the residents of Edmond, it is not without pain. Nobody knows this pain better than Stephanie Carel. Stephanie, who owns Silverleaf Gems, is front and center to the seemingly never-ending construction.
There are two ways to get to this unique jewelry boutique. The first is down Campbell west of Broadway. This stretch of Campbell has literally been shut down with the entire road torn out for a month. The other, not ideal access, is the alley between Campbell and Edwards, which has now been shut down for approximately two weeks. While most of us living and working in downtown have been inconvenienced by this construction in one way or another, no one has been impacted to the degree of Silverleaf Gems and Stephanie Carel.
Stephanie is probably the biggest cheerleader for downtown Edmond and has managed to keep an incredibly positive attitude through all the construction. She is even rumored to have provided the workers with cool refreshments on the hottest of summer days during the construction. She is one of the hardest working people in Edmond, serving as President of our local Downtown Edmond Business Association, Chairwoman of the Edmond Historic Trust, and serves as a board member of both the Edmond Historical Society and Museum and Edmond Arts Institute. It is ironic that the one of the biggest supporters of our downtown community has been affected the most. There is surely a lack of justice in that somewhere.
When meeting with Stephanie this Saturday morning, I was actually able, finally, to drive down Campbell street and park right in front of the Silverleaf Gem boutique. The fact that the road was open brought a big smile to her face and a great sense of relief. How does a small business owner deal with this level of adversity and disruption to their business and how do they prepare?
Stephanie and the downtown merchants had about 6 months to prepare. She said the key is staying in front of your clients, constantly communicating with them on the best way to get to your location considering the latest street closings and construction. And this communication is done most effectively through social media. While she has definitely seen a decrease in sales, the use of social media, having a loyal client base, and support from friends and family has made the situation manageable. If you haven’t visited Stephanie and Silverleaf Gems, please do so today, and, while there will still be construction, there is now a convenient path to her front door.