Let Hawaii Work: Sarah Schroeder’s story

I am a single mother of a 16-month-old almost toddler.

I have been greatly affected by this lockdown, not only financially in regards to my business, but also emotionally due to the stress of not knowing how or if I will ever recover.

It has been months full of severe anxiety, depression and worry over my future and what I have lost after years of hard work and sacrifice. I was raising my son solely off of my business, which is selling beauty products I make with my own hands, such as soaps, lotions and perfumes and my well-known Hawaii-grown essential oils to many shops around the islands and online, as well as markets and fairs.

My business was thriving and projected to do great in 2020 after years of hard work. I had taken some time off to raise my son and had planned to go back in April. Then the lockdown happened and it destroyed all prospects. The future is looking grim. If it weren’t for what I call my “sweet fans” placing orders online, I would have lost hope long ago. Online sales are only a very small portion of my revenue, and at the moment it has dipped low, too.

I am worried my business will never recover. The stores I sell to are not open or getting customers. If the shops are not making money, then they are not ordering and I am not making money. If the lockdown, travel quarantine and other travel restrictions aren’t lifted ASAP, I don’t know how I or many of the businesses I sell my products to will survive.

I worked years building my brand, my products, my wholesale customer relations and loyal fans who purchase online. Now I feel like I have lost my identity and my passion.

That is my story. I appreciate you listening.

Sarah Schroeder
Puhi, Kauai

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