SEATTLE — Sabando Design has been a mainstay at Pike Place Market for the last 16 years. But this holiday season for the husband and wife custom jewelry designers is one like no other.
“This has been a really difficult year. In March, when the market closed, it was almost like I had a heart attack or somebody cut my legs out from under me. I was just so - we didn’t know what we were going to do,” Kristeena Sabando explained.
Sabando said her business is down 80% this year. Even though some of the market’s 500 vendors have returned to the market, foot traffic is nowhere near normal. That’s why the market has now launched a new online charitable marketplace where shoppers can buy from more than 100 market vendors online.
“It’s a great site to stop by support the small businesses in the market if you’re unable to shop in person,” Patricia Gray from Pike Place Market said.
A portion will also go into the market’s recovery fund which helps businesses, workers and people in the community struggling during the pandemic. The fund started in June with a goal to raise $3.5 million.
Gray said she’s worried some of their vendors may not recover even after the pandemic is over.
“It’s a real concern. We’ve issued close to 100 grants to the small businesses in the market so far,” Gray explained.
Though it’s been a rough year for Sabando, she’s thankful she’s still doing what she loves. And she said she owes it all to the generosity of the community.
“The highlight of this pandemic has been all of the care and all of the heart that Seattle has,” Sabando said.
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