For 33 years, Paradise Found has helped the local Santa Barbara community get through some tough times. Whether it be with calming music, wonderful incense or its other plethora of items that promote positivity and conscious living, Paradise Found has been able to deliver.
This time around, in the middle of a pandemic that is slamming small businesses, it’s the community that has a chance to be there for Paradise Found.
a week ago, shop owner Teresa Taylor started a GoFundMe campaign to
try to help her keep Paradise Found running. The shop has been closed
since March 20 due to the shelter in place orders set by California
Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“I simply couldn’t wait any longer,” Ms. Taylor told the News-Press.
“I am in total support of people’s health and well being and the safety of our community but I just could not wait any longer for a system that was overwhelmed and for programs that weren’t particularly well thought out for many small business owners.
“One day when I was looking at the grim financial reality, I knew I had a choice to make. We are here for the long haul, we want to be here for this community so that’s why I launched the campaign.”
Within the first 24 hours, Ms. Taylor’s campaign received 25% of its goal. As of 9 p.m. Thursday, Paradise Found has raised $17,694 of its $33,000 goal.
The $33,000 goal is set in part because it is the store’s 33rd anniversary, but also because Ms. Taylor though it was an attainable goal that would help the shop for at least a couple of months.
To donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/yrn6my-paradise-found or visit paradisefoundsb.com
“I am on my knees grateful for the support we have received so far,” Ms. Taylor said.
“I feel like I’m in the advanced life course of gratitude. I am deeply humbled and honored. In the context of small businesses that have made an impact on their community, I am just so grateful.”
Since the shop has been closed since March 20, Ms. Taylor has been struggling mightily with finding a way to keep Paradise Found running.
Ms. Taylor said she has tried applying for all the current loans out there to help small businesses but says they are either ineffective or in some cases, she never even received an email back.
One day, Ms. Taylor even wondered if this was going to be the end of her business. Instead of giving in, however, she chose to believe in herself and in the community and that ambition has paid off so far.
“I sat with that darkness for a few days but I am filled with passion and purpose and I think what we do is important to the community so one day I decided that I am going to go for it and I was going to go on with full faith that I knew I did everything I could,” Ms. Taylor said.
Even though the shop is still not open, Ms. Taylor said there are still some ways that Paradise Found is trying to stay involved.
They have created an online bookshop, there are online gift certificates, and they even have curbside pickup every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2 to 5 p.m.
“We are just trying to balance staying connected with our community and serving them and safely,” Ms. Taylor said.
Ultimately, no one knows when this current pandemic will subside and when things will get back to normal. For Ms. Taylor, she is prepared for what might come, whether it be the social distancing rules or simply less people allowed in her store at what time.
Regardless, Ms. Taylor is passionate that now is the time to continue supporting small businesses in any way possible.
“It really is time to rethink everything and it’s time to rally around our small local independent businesses and to think about what this community will look like on the other side,” Ms. Taylor said.
“Now really is an invitation of who you might miss if they were no longer here and find a way to support them. Even if all you can do is offer words of encouragement, it goes a long way.”