Tails with Taylors
My close friend and adopted sister Katrina and her husband Chad recently started their family business selling high quality pet food and toys, along with other pet items because as we all know, pets are as much family as our children. As well as providing your fur babies with nothing but the best, She does boarding in her home. Starting a business takes a lot of time and money and most of all, love and passion for what you do. They spent months turning this blank canvas into a beautiful second home for them to help out families and their furbabies live a happy healthy life. Just recently a fire ripped through the strip mall where she started her new journey. Insurance will cover the loss, but not the time, effort, love, sweat, and tears (not to mention the financial burden) that went into making this place lovely and welcoming to all who enter. Anything will help as she is going to need to find a new location and start all over. I also would like to mention how heart broken every one of us are about the young lady who lost her life in this fire working at the gas station next door.
Please help out this beautiful family who once had a dream to have this business, be able to have it back.
I've been told recently that due to smoke and water damage the entire place was a total loss along with everything inside. They will have to start completely over granted they find a new location. Please help spread the word let's help this family out. Thanks to all who've donated its amazing to see a community come together!
After the fire
before the fire
A local 21 year old man murdered a woman and set a fire that destroyed four businesses. The perp walked away with $80 and a carton of cigarettes. He has been arrested but the impact of his crime will affect many forever.
The emotional toll he took on Amy's family and friends and the trauma he inflicted on all those affected is not calculable, but here are a few things I can calculate:
Three entrepreneurs lost our businesses. You know entrepreneurs, you know how we pour our heart and souls into our businesses. We'll work 18 hour days for ourselves for the privilege of not having to work an 8 hour day for someone else. To have that torn away hurts by itself, even before you consider all the other fallout.
The barber worked seven days a week as a sole proprietor. I don't know her financial situation beyond that she wasn't insured. I didn't really know her, we'd just wave at each other every morning at opening time and every evening at closing time. I don't know if she can re-open somewhere else or what she'll do next, but I can empathize with her. I know how weird it feels to not go open my shop every morning now.
Sue the groomer had two employees and had been in the same location for nearly 20 years. She was not insured. Seven birds and two cats belonging to her perished as well. We're learning it may be just a clerical error, but currently Phillis, an employee at the groomers, is unable to collect unemployment. She lost her personally owned grooming tools in the fire too (also not covered under insurance).
I was fulfilling a decade old dream to own my own natural pet food store, working six days a week. I was just starting to see the momentum build with repeat customers. In hindsight, I was under insured and I don't know if we'll be able to afford to re-open elsewhere. After the fire was out and our end of the building determined structurally safe to enter (but before the whole area was declared a crime scene) Chad was allowed to go inside briefly. You know exactly where his heart was, he grabbed his sons Carter & Ryan's military photos we proudly displayed in the store. They were the only 8x10s we had and we were able to dry them out and the glass frames saved them from smoke damage. Our store was a true "mom & pop shop"...taken away from us in an instant.
Tom was a great landlord to me, irreplaceable I think. Anytime I had a concern they were instantly on it. An old-fashioned gentleman, Tom leased our suite to us with a handshake agreement and a month to month obligation only because he fully appreciated how difficult it is for a start-up business to make it. The day we looked at the suite was the day we learned my dear mother-in-law's pancreatic cancer surgery didn't go as well as we hoped. He fully understood, he'd lost his own wife. When we called to tell him we wanted the building but our timeline was complicated with Chad's mother's visit that we obviously wanted to make the most of considering her diagnosis, he gave us immediate access of the building so we could get the bulk of what we needed to get done before her visit. We were able to spend most of our time with her and still open the store almost on time thanks to Tom's kindness.
Recently Tom's family has taken over ownership of the market and gas station again, they made a lot of improvements. The store was cleaner and brighter every time I went in. I got the feeling they truly cared for their employees. Tom had even kept track of some of his elderly employees who retired years ago. This is unconfirmed but I heard the security cameras were not working when they took over operations of the store again and that was one of the first things they fixed. Those cameras solved this murder.
In addition to the trauma of losing a coworker/friend, over a half a dozen employees from the convenience store are also out of work. One employee was also Amy's boyfriend, no words can describe how my heart hurts for him. The manager had a stroke when he received the news of the crime. Unemployment doesn't pay for emotional damages.
Some of my customers were regulars at all four businesses. The deli in the market was quite popular. Nobody makes a French Dip Sandwich as well as Celeste does. The barbershop was very popular. The groomer has 5 star reviews and an intensely loyal clientele. One of my elderly customers called to check in on us and also relayed to me how afraid he was to try a new groomer because his little dog is about all he has left in his life since his wife passed away. Another customer of mine used to work nearby and frequented the market too. He said Amy was wonderful and always made him smile even when he was having a really bad day.
My son has been having some problems with kids at school who were insensitive about Amy's murder and the whole situation. He insists the bloody goose-egg on his forehead is a pimple and I should stop asking him about it...but I don't believe that for a second.
Amy's three daughters had their mother taken from them. Amy's mother lost her daughter. Steve lost his girlfriend. Many others that knew her personally too lost a family member/friend.
The perp was a regular at the convenience store. He went to school with our oldest son. My cousin was his algebra teacher and spent a lot of extra time helping him. He lived in the same apartment complex that my husband did when we met. The small size of this community feels like a vise on my heart today.
The impact of the crime perpetrated by this heartless man continues to hit me. There is a candlelight vigil for Amy tonight in front of the store. I feel both like I need to go and don't know if I can make myself go.
Links to all the related GoFundMe pages that I'm aware of are on my website www.tailswithtaylors.com Please especially give some love to the fund for Phyllis (her resources are limited and her circle of friends isn't large) and the fund for Amy's Daughters (it's to be a college fund for the three girls). Also please continue to share them even if you're unable to donate.
Thank you Alesha, that's so sweet! I did hear from the the officials today what we all expected, even though the firewall did stop the actual fire damage, because of the smoke and water damage in our suite it's a complete loss. One of the only things that is certain in our future maybe a long time out, but our long-term dream is to own a hobby farm that is also a teaching farm for permaculture and sustainability practices for at risk youth. If we cannot reopen our store for whatever reason, anything this campaign collects above our insurance deductible will go towards those efforts.