Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sandy, Three Months Later

Caramia's Collection was heavily impacted by the super storm known as "Sandy".  Located in the Rockaways in New York, we are in one of the hardest hit areas.  There were people who suffered more and people who suffered less, there is no way to truly gauge the havoc the storm created for each individual unless you've lived it.  The loss of memories, material things and the emotional impact is monumental.
As a business, we lost a lot of inventory and thought Caramia's Collection was surely finished due to the lack of power, internet and no postal service to name just a few of the obstacles we faced in the immediate aftermath of the storm.  What happened a few days after Sandy hit was my miracle.  I was able to to get a call through to someone I have treasured as a mentor and friend for several years.  I asked her to close down my business as I had no access to it.  Instead, she put her thinking cap on and came up with an idea.  
First let me tell you, this friend is a fellow eBayer, PowersellingMom aka Danna Crawford.  In my moment of uncertainty and panic, not just how I would handle my business but also how to attempt to recover from the devastation I faced, Danna kept her cool and asked if there was any way I could put a package together and ship it to her and I said, yes, one package would be manageable. She told me she would "text" me my sales, write to my buyers about the shipping delay due to Sandy and basically run my business from her home base in Florida!  What a turn of events, a Floridian used to hurricanes running the business of a die hard New Yorker who had just experienced the most horrific of storms.  
Danna texted my first list to me.  Without electricity and heat, I took advantage of the daylight and my trusty flashlight and looked for the items sold, packaged them up individually and then put together one large box.  I was able to have the package shipped to Danna, who then printed postage from my account and shipped my items from Florida.  Does this require faith and trust?  It sure did, but I had no doubt that the person I was trusting my business with could and would handle this as if it were her own.
We had our own version of a long distance assembly line and used the system twice with no problems.  This is what true friendship and teamwork is all about.
I am forever grateful to Danna Crawford for her help in keeping my eBay business going during this crazy time in my life.  I am grateful also to the buyers who were so kind and understanding, some even writing me follow up emails wishing me and my family well.  I am also so grateful for all the well wishes I have received from the eBay community and friends I have made on FaceBook.  I may not have thanked everyone individually but I want everyone to know that I am so appreciative of the outpouring of warmth.
Caramia's Collection did get internet back after several weeks and we're trying to get the business back up to speed.  We still do not have a local post office and are unsure of when it will be back up and running.  Sadly, one of our local mail carriers passed away in the storm.  His smile and friendly attitude when I would stop him on my way to the post office with packages to "save me a trip to the post office" will never be forgotten.
Three months after the storm, I want to say a great big thank you to Danna, you stepped up to the plate and hit a home run for me. I hope no one ever has to experience what my family and I and all the others in our area have gone through and are continuing to face on a daily basis.  I do hope that if a time of need does arise, that you have a friend who will "have your back" like I do.




2 comments:

Kathy Keefe said...

We are so lucky to have Danna Crawford in our life! Elyse I can only imagine what you faced and are still facing in the recovery process, but your strength and determination are admired! Thanks for sharing the story!

Caramia's Collection said...

Thanks Kathy. I've been meaning to share my Danna story for a while and I thought the three month anniversary was a perfect day. She was truly my miracle in the storm.