HARBESON, DE (NBC News Channel) – The pandemic has hurt thousands of small businesses, and that’s if they survive at all.
But there is one who made it, by making it in America.
“Everything we had worked for, blood, sweat, and tears for years, was gone in an instant,” said Jennifer McMillan, a small business owner.
The pandemic had just hit and Jennifer and David McMillan’s multi-million-dollar home décor business in Harbeson, Delaware was in big trouble.
“Our sales dropped over 70% online and our store sales dropped 100%, because we were forced to close,” said Jennifer.
Their top sellers were these decorative signs and the factory they used in china to make more than 100 thousand of them a year – shut down.
“We had to lay off our entire team,” she said. “We just sat there like it’s over.”
That’s when the McMillan’s made the biggest decision of their lives.
Instead of giving up they doubled down, and put their entire life savings into one idea “Made in America”
“We had recently sold our primary home, and we used the equity in that, and all of our available credit, and everything– every resource that we had to become made in America, and it was a scary decision.”
So, right in the middle of the pandemic and with no employees left to help, they started spending.
“The first piece of equipment we bought was over $100,000,” said McMillian. “Every day, I was questioning, “What are we doing? Are we crazy,” she questioned.
Turns out that crazy idea wasn’t crazy at all. And they shared it on social.
“And then all the orders started coming in like crazy,” said Jennifer. “It’s me and my husband and the two dogs, and we are like, “How do we ship all these orders out?”
The McMillan’s ended up hiring back their entire team plus more and they finally reopened their store.
“Our sales have skyrocketed, and we have thousands of backorders.”
For now, business is good. Before the pandemic they had five employees. Now, they’re up to 21 and looking for a bigger space to move into.