With COVID-19 restrictions putting a strain on local businesses, two Wellington business owners came up with a creative way to encourage shopping local.

Written by Annie Lindgren

North Forty News

Two Wellington business owners saw a need and went with it. They encouraged the community to purchase gift cards for local businesses during a time when most business doors had to be closed. 

Erin Jerome, Cosmetologist and Owner of Trim Salon and Boutique in downtown Wellington, had just taken over her business March 1. Feeling for the impact to all small business owners in the community, she came up with a way to encourage shopping local. “I knew that no one could make a major contribution, but I thought I could get a large group together to do something small,” explains Erin. She created a Facebook event encouraging others to purchase gift cards for Wellington businesses and gift them to others.

Twenty Wellington businesses participated by offering links for gift card purchases. The event was shared on several social media forums. A ‘you have been gifted’ image was posted within the event whenever a gift card was purchased, tagging the recipient.  Not only did this support businesses, but it also supported individuals in the community. Who doesn’t love receiving a gift card? 

Megan Larson, Owner and Creative Director of M Rock Creative, took Erin’s efforts a step further. She created a website, shopwellingtoncolorado.com, which lists participating Wellington businesses that have gift cards or online ordering available. “The way we do business is going to change for people. We need to start looking at how to make things more accessible online,” says Megan. 

The website provides user-friendly links to participating Wellington small businesses. Categories for delivery, gift cards, shopping online, and take-out orders, making it easy to find what you are looking for at one convenient hub. Any Wellington business offering services in the above-listed categories are welcome to participate, and there is a form on the website you fill out to submit your information. This support to the community generously donated and maintained by Megan. 

Many gift cards were purchased and gifted, and you can still go in to the event and participate. Businesses are added to the website as business owners express interest. The Wellington community has shown overwhelming support towards these efforts. 

Efforts didn’t start here. Megan has done much for the community over the past several years, leading the Wellington Brewfest committee, helping with networking events, and volunteering with the Wellington Main Streets Program. She has done a lot of behind the scenes work in rebranding and building websites for many Wellington businesses. Erin volunteers with the Main Streets program helping out with events and downtown promotional projects. Both live and raise children here, volunteering at schools, and participating in sports. They value the close-knit community. Everywhere you go, you see someone you know. Whenever there is a need, someone steps up to help. 

These ladies want to remind everyone the importance of shopping local. Small businesses require the support of a community to keep providing services. Wellington has a lot of people working together to create a vibrant and welcoming downtown. The more you shop and support local, the better the vibe, and sustainability for businesses. Check out shopwellingtoncolorado.com for your gift card needs, and support downtown Wellington restaurants open for take-out and delivery during this time. 

Erin Jerome and Megan Larson volunteering at Well-O-Rama, 2019
Article published in North Forty News on May 16, 2020