Business restart

HBA hosts sidewalk mixer

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 8/12/20

The Highland Business Association hosted a Sidewalk Mixer last Thursday evening in the Hamlet of Highland, giving everyone a chance to spend some time meeting shop owners in a socially distanced …

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Business restart

HBA hosts sidewalk mixer


The Highland Business Association hosted a Sidewalk Mixer last Thursday evening in the Hamlet of Highland, giving everyone a chance to spend some time meeting shop owners in a socially distanced manner.

Real Estate Broker Dolly Decker, owner of Hello Dolly, is the VP of the Business Association.

“We thought this would be good and at the same time show our support for the hamlet businesses,” she said. “Everybody is struggling a little bit and we wanted to get people to come down on a different night.”

Kim Scott is the owner of the Little Flower Shop Downtown in the center of the Highland hamlet. She purchased the business four years ago.

“We’re pretty much struggling right now with the virus going on but it’s a beautiful night out tonight and we decided to put everything outside for people so they don’t have to go into our business,” she said. “We’re allowed to open our business now for the convenience of everybody to come in our store, but only about 4 people can come inside with masks on.”

Besides fresh flowers and plants, Scott also sells “candles, soaps, crafts, pillows, blankets, eucalyptus and wreaths,” she said. “I am trying to bring everything into my store because it’s been very, very slow.”

The Little Flower Shop is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Kim can be reached at 845-691-7090.

Scott Gibson started making travel accessories in 1995 and established Wingnuts Gear in 2005. He initially created a brand of hydration packs for adventure racing, “and it’s always been about performance materials like lightweight sailcloth, waterproof zippers and breathable mesh.”

Gibson said the term ‘adventure racing’ encompasses such activities as bicycle racing, orienteering, kayaking and hand and para gliding.

“The Eco-challenge is coming back now,” he said.

Gibson and his wife, who is a flight attendant, began looking at possible impacts from the virus back in January. This led Gibson to start designing masks, believing with his knowledge of performance materials, he could help to save lives.

Gibson quickly realized how difficult is was to bring his ideas to fruition but after the Governor and the President began dropping litigation and liability on mask making for PPEs in mid March, “I jumped in.” He said it was a roller coaster ride at the beginning but quickly appreciated that it was about maximum impact with minimum effort. He said at one point he calculated that he had made 8,500 masks.

Gibson uses medical grade mesh for his workforce masks, the same material he uses for his backpacks because it is breathable and very durable. He has rubber encased nose clips that prevent fogging up eyeglasses, a small innovation from suggestions made by doctors and nurses. His design prevents microbes from entering the masks and there is room for the mouth so the wearer does not feel uncomfortable. A set of two adjustable ties holds it securely on the head. The mask is also washable.

At the beginning of July Gibson was again able to restart making his trademark hydration packs.

Gibson said the Sidewalk Mixer allowed people to come out, meet people while being smart about it. He can be reached on Facebook at Studio Wingnut.

Sarah Knaus, owner of the Knaus Gallery and Wine Bar, said there should be more events like this mixer. She said her business has been good during the pandemic, “because we have a very good client base; our people go to art galleries and wine bars and I don’t ever have to deal with people who aren’t going to wear masks or disrespect social distancing.”


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