“It was definitely going from working every single day and running a business to now being a home schooling teacher,” said Amber Roberts on life adjustments during the coronavirus pandemic.
Women are leaving the workforce more than men to care for their families and teach their kids in this pandemic, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September Jobs report. Some are finding their way back with the help of their own employees.
Roberts owns TTT Leather Goods in Bradenton with her husband Andy Roberts.
The couple decided to expand their online business with a physical store.
“I remember it getting really, really scary," she sadi. "We signed on the store right before the economy got shut down. So that was very terrifying."
Roberts would stay at home to home school and care for her children.
It was life changing.
“I think I speak for both myself and my kids when I say that it was very challenging going from working every single day, running this business,” said Roberts, “to basically being told you can't come back and having to kind of quarantine with your children for months.”
Luckily, Roberts hired Sky Cadmus right before the pandemic hit. Cadmus, a college business major, thought she would be filling in for Roberts for a week during spring break vacation.
“And I've been here ever since,” said Cadmus with a smile.
Cadmus taught herself the business’s software with the help of YouTube while Roberts was at home teaching her two elementary school-aged children.
“They're great people. They're great friends. And they needed me,” said Cadmus.
“I've learned so much. It's incredible.”
The company has six full-time employees and two or three part-timers who work in the production area behind the storefront and adjacent to their new business offices.
“Everybody that's here has helped us grow,” said Roberts. “They've been through the worst times that we just spoke of. They've been through it right with us. So we definitely feel responsible to keep this going, which is another reason we just can't quit.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, reporter Virginia Johnson has taken you all over the Tampa Bay area to see how folks are dealing with Life in The Time of Coronavirus.
To watch her previous stories, visit here.