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Wystle boutique adapts to 'new normal'

Elisabeth Slay
Wystle employees have returned to work and are working on delivering orders and providing curbside pick up to the community.

Similar to other businesses in the Shawnee area, local boutique Wystle had to close its doors due to COVID-19 concerns and has had to learn to adapt to a new normal with curbside pick up, delivery and online shopping.

According to boutique owner Rachel Melot, Wystle has completely changed its business model.

"We have a website, shopwystle.com, that had recently been formed in the fall...What I did is just invest all in to making that website as good as I could...We revamp shopwystle.com," Melot said.

The business owner explained she had to let her staff go after Wystle first closed its doors, but has managed to hire all of them back.

"People around the community were very generous to call and try to shop local and they were looking for things and we were able to do a little businesses," Melot said. "After applying for loans and realizing we could get some payroll assistance I have been able to rehire everyone on my staff....I'm able to put seven people back to work."

Melot said she and her employees are filling orders, providing curbside pickup and delivering items to members of the community.

The business owner explained in addition to adapting to this online sales model, she's continuing her passion for mentoring her employees.

"I'm taking the opportunity to spend time mentoring and teaching them because this is a crisis in business that some of us will only see once or twice in our lifetime," Melot said. "So allowing them to be part of the process and the decision making has been good."

Melot explained in addition to her website and curbside pick up, Wystle is also offering their products on shopshawnee.net.

The response from the community during this difficult time Melot said has been great and people have been very supportive.

"I'm very thankful to business owners and friends and customers who have chosen us to buy the gift that they need for a new born or a friend," Melot said.

The business owner said she is thinking positive thoughts regarding the future and is looking forward to other businesses adapting and continuing to provide their goods to the Shawnee community.

"We are hopeful as a small business that at some point the city and state government consider allowing small businesses to find ways to open their doors and not people's health at risk," Melot said.

To browse items or purchase items Melot said people can call the store at (405) 275-5525 or visit shopwystle.com.