A step and a turn: Mary Ann’s Dance and More pivots to serve customers
Since 2007, Mary Ann’s Dance and More has been Western Massachusetts’ go-to location for dance supplies and novelty gift items. Owner Mary Ann Hanlon is an active supporter of the community and regularly engages with non-profits and philanthropy. Mary Ann’s Dance and More was featured in the national dance retailer magazine, Dance Retailer News. During its thirteen-year history, Mary Ann’s Dance and More has survived the recession, two roof leaks, and ceiling collapses, but Hanlon never imagined she would be dealing with a global pandemic. Below, Hanlon reflects on how her store has been impacted by COVID-19.
How has business been going?
The hardest thing I’ve had to do in thirteen years of business is close during one of our busiest seasons – competition, picture days, and recital. We’ve learned that coming back from revenues losses like that is not as easy as coming back from a roof leaks and ceiling collapses. We re-opened in June 2020 with reduced hours, reduced capacity, and all the then-current safety guidelines set forth by the State of Massachusetts and the City of Easthampton in place. Our e-commerce site has been in place for years now. We have always offered buy online pick-up in store or ship direct, but we added curbside pick-up to our offerings along with off-hours shopping for customers who are apprehensive about shopping alongside others. “Pivot” was the key word of 2020 – and we have had to do a lot of that!
What are your thoughts on the “My Local MA” campaign?
We are all about supporting local. Since we opened in 2007, we have been promoting the benefits of shopping local and supporting small business. We were thrilled when the Governor made the announcement about the My Local MA campaign! People need to realize that the service and expertise that we as small business owners give cannot be matched by a “big box store” or an online discounter. We have been educating our customers about how we are different than the “other guys.” Our slogan is “Mary Ann’s Dance and More, your source for dance apparel and more – where shopping local is cool!”