BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Many large and local businesses have shut their doors permanently during the COVID-19 pandemic, but others have found unique ways to stay afloat.
You might have passed this shop located in Southwest Bakersfield, inside the Stockdale Village called, Sugardaddy's Women's Clothing Boutique. Now they made some changes due to the pandemic, but they say they wouldn't have been able to make it this far without support from the community.
It’s everyday interactions with customers that bring joy to Heidi Shubin, the owner of Sugardaddy's. The business started nearly four decades ago and continues today after Heidi took over for her mother.
"My mother handed me this business, you know and I've worked really hard to prove to her that I've earned it. I'm going to continue to make her proud and continue to make a living. Also, the community has stepped up, it has been amazing Kern County is awesome," said Shubin.
But like any business owner during the pandemic, there was concern over the future, but Shubin says she refused to watch the COVID-19 pandemic close their doors.
"I was here every day no matter what I was doing, I was here from eight-to-seven doing shipping doing, you know, picking up the delivery, whatever I needed to do to keep our business alive to make my mother proud."
Shubin says they had to close down several times and find different ways for customers to get their fashion needs, which came with its challenges while watching local and big-name stores closing around her
Shubin then turned her store into an online marketplace through social media.
The self-proclaimed fashionista says its loyal customers like Nancy Jackson of Bakersfield, who has shopped here for 25 years, has kept their boutique alive.
"I think it's the individual attention that they give to their customers,[ its] really quality time that they will spend to help you find something special that you're looking for," said Jackson.
It’s not just Jackson who’s helped out, Shubin says during the spring of 2020 when they weren’t sure how they would pay their rent, one customer paid it in full for a month, but despite the setbacks and having to evolve — the clothing boutique says they aren’t giving up.
"Keep going we gotta keep Kern County alive, you can’t keep the small business out," added Shubin.
And the owner says they're only allowing a limited number of customers inside the shop so if you're looking to do some shopping, be sure to stop by.
Location: Stockdale Village Shopping Center
Address: 5512 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93309