ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — While some Bay area businesses are reopening the doors of their physical locations, others are closing theirs for good, but looking forward to serving customers online.

What You Need To Know

  • Makeme Studio, Roots of the Sun Tea House, Salt-Light Art Studio taking businesses online

  • Rent, expenses of operating brick and mortar locations no longer make sense for some

  • Keep St. Petersburg Local encouraging people to think local when shopping

  • More Pinellas County stories

Nonprofit Keep St. Petersburg Local reports that Makeme Studio, Roots of The Sun tea house and Salt-Light Art studio are closing their St. Pete brick-and-mortar locations and taking their businesses online. 

Melissa Mudd, owner of Makeme Studio for the past six years, said the task of sanitizing every crayon, paint brush and art supply was one of her concerns about keeping her business open.

“I had concerns not only about students in our space but staff as well, and being able to keep up with all of the necessary sanitization measures when I couldn’t even for my own personal home find enough bleach or sanitizing wipes,” Mudd said.

The cost to keep the space open and pay the rent was also a determining factor in closing her brick-and-mortar location.

“Yes, we turned in our keys on Friday actually, which was pretty hard but my landlords and I just couldn’t come to an agreement that would help us recoup the money that we would need to for two almost three months of no classes,” Mudd said. “And although I understand where they’re coming from, it was hard for me to say I can commit to anything other than a lease that’s month by month.”

It’s what she said is a sign of the times, but definitely not the end for her and many other entrepreneurs. 

“I know these ideas were mine,” Mudd said. “I know that I can repackage them and keep going and I know that I have a lot of connections in this community and I don’t plan on going anywhere and I hope they continue to support us whatever that 2.0 might entail.”

Keep St. Petersburg Local wants to remind people to think local first whenever you head out shopping right now. It could mean a world of difference for a small business owner. ​

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