When 26-year-old fashion designer Rebecca Moon originally drew up the business plan for her high-end boutique clothing store, she anticipated she would still need to keep some bartending shifts to make ends meet.
That was when Moonbeam Clothiers was scheduled to open in March, before COVID-19 and the economic havoc that followed.
When businesses shut down, she was laid off from Shame and Regret, the stylish bar in a downtown Colorado Springs alley.
The opening of her clothing store was pushed back to the end of May, and she burned through much of her savings in the interim.
When Shame and Regret finally reopened its doors in June, she said the second source of income was critical. She picked up shifts Monday and Tuesday nights.
Moon acknowledges they’re “kind of the bad money nights,” but that they made the most sense with her boutique’s Wednesday through Saturday schedule.
She said she expects the shifts to be stable. Shame and Regret serves food, so it was able to stay open after Gov. Jared Polis closed bars again in late June. Though, she said business at the bar has dropped significantly after Polis moved last call and stopped alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
Moon’s boyfriend, David Frink, works as the beverage director for a complex of three downtown Colorado Springs restaurants, all of which opened last December.
“It’s kind of crazy just because everything changes every day,” Frink said.
He said the restaurants were not designed to survive at 50-percent capacity. So, Frink is trying to hustle and find new business angles.
“We’ve got to start marketing ourselves as ‘to-go’ cocktails, ‘to-go’ bottles of wine, ‘to-go’ whiskey pours, to make this sustainable,” Frink said.
The results have been mixed, and he said he’s not sure the restaurants will last a few more months under current rules.
Meanwhile, Moon recently received some sobering news. Another female-owned clothing store on the same block as Moonbeam Clothiers just shut its doors for good.
Note: We’ll be following Rebecca Moon’s efforts to start her dream company amid the coronavirus pandemic and resulting recession in the months ahead. Here’s the first story in our series on Moonbeam Clothiers.