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Maryville small business creates online presence during pandemic, sees huge boost in sales over holiday weekend

Many were forced to shut their doors during the pandemic and some turned to selling products online for the first time.

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. — Data shows small businesses saw a boost in online sales this past weekend. 

Many were forced to shut their doors during the pandemic and some turned to selling products online for the first time.

A Blount County business did just that and saw an online boom over the holiday weekend. 

Joy Carver, owner of Dandy Lions Gifts in Maryville, said getting into the online market was never the initial plan. 

"I think people have loved us through the years because we know them by name and they like the personal aspect of it," she said.

But shutting down earlier this year made her consider otherwise. 

"As everyone learned, early March or April it was sink or swim. Some of those hard held long beliefs I had, I just had to go with it," said Carver. 

With her doors closed, she began to focus solely on online sales. 

Fast forward to this past weekend and she's thankful she made the change. "Saturday was wildly successful."

While people filled her store in-person, she said they flooded the store online. 

"That online store all day was slammed. It was unbelievable to go back and watch those analytics and numbers," she said.

The personal touch she thought she'd lose going online still existed. 

"There were some people in town who said they were so glad we had it because they wouldn't be comfortable coming on a busy day," she said.

Carver believes it made a tremendous difference. She encourages other businesses to consider online sales and take the leap of faith. 

"We feel that support. Every person that comes in I just want to. I can't hug you but saying thank you to every person every time they come in makes such a difference," she said.