Since March 25, Harris County has been under a stay-at-home order, which states those not providing essential business and government services must close their doors to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
For Kingwood business owner Cyrese Jezek, that meant temporarily shuttering her longstanding boutique, Cyrese & Co. The boutique offers custom jewelry handmade by Jezek as well as women’s clothing.
“Apparently, you can go buy furniture, but no one cares if you go naked,” Jezek joked. “I understand that it’s a boutique and there’s cutesy clothes and no one’s going anywhere. ... It’s sad, but it’s just the way it is.”
Harris County's stay-at-home order is currently scheduled to last through April 30, but it could be extended further by county or state mandates. Until the order is over, Jezek has switched to using Facebook to promote her store's inventory.
If clients want to purchase items, Jezek provides curbside pickup at the store and home delivery. She even offers scheduled one-on-one consultations at the shop, she said.
Pretty Little Things, another Kingwood-based boutique, has also switched to online sales during the coronavirus. The boutique, which has two locations in Kingwood and the Generation Park development, sells a variety of hand-picked women’s apparel, accessories and gifts.
Owner Nikole Christian said her business was fortunate enough to have a strong online shopping platform established prior to the virus. Customers can go directly to the boutique’s website and order items to be shipped to their home.
Additionally, Christian and her manager, Bri Nichols, also do free, personal deliveries to doorsteps in the Lake Houston area.
“We’ll ship things that are outside of the Lake Houston area, but if they’re in the Lake Houston area ... we’ll go in [to the store], package things one at a time and drop them off,” she said.
However, Christian said closing the two stores has been challenging, as she just opened the second shop in Generation Park's Redemption Square in December.
“Obviously we’re doing it for all the right reasons, but having double bills and less income definitely affects the business,” she said.
After almost 15 years in business, Jezek said her little shop has been through it all. Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 flooded the boutique with 31 inches of rain in August 2017, and she had to close the business for 2 ½ months.
“My shop has been through the recession, two or three hurricanes and a flood and now a national pandemic,” she said. “I know Kingwood is real strong—we did it before, we’ve done it a few times. We’ll pull back together, and hopefully everyone from Kingwood will come out and support Kingwood.”