Local owners hopeful business will return to normal

As small business owners in downtown Malvern, Cute Affordable Fashion co-owners Sarah Loy and Tonia Davis remain hopeful during COVID-19 crisis.
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

As the nation has been extremely affected by the coronavirus, COVID-19, co-owners of Cute Affordable Fashion, Tonia Davis and Sarah Loy remain hopeful life will return to a normal and functioning situation again. Like many small town businesses across the nation trying to cope with the effects from the COVID-19 outbreak, Cute Affordable Fashion has closed its hours of business operations temporarily.
Since opening for business in August 2019 at 418 S. Main St. in downtown Malvern, Davis and Loy have been proud business owners who bring a new unique stylish women's and children’s boutique store to the area. They have been appreciative to all their customers and the community support, they said.
Through this new journey and chapter in their lives, COVID-19 has been a different experience for them. As new business owners, Davis and Loy have had to close the store to the public. Davis stated, because of concerns about the COVID-19, closing the store right now was the best option.
When the news broke about people in several counties having been exposed to the virus by confirmed cases reported from the Arkansas Department of Health, Davis and Loy said their business began slowing down.
The COVID-19 has affected the store's shipment of clothes and fashion products. Davis said they receive most of the store's products from California and Dallas and these states are
affected severely by the disease.
Davis and Loy both said this situation has hurt them financially as a business with no money coming in from purchases.
During this time, they have had to work on other things pertaining to their business—with the belief they will be back to opening up the store to the public again.
Until then, Davis has had valuable time to spend with her two daughters, Lauren and Karsen. She also has time to prepare on other projects during this down time.
Loy has had the opportunity to work on launching the store's new website: cuteaffordablefashion.com.
Since the store is closed to the public, Loy is excited that customers can shop on the website.
"This time has allowed us to accomplish getting the website going and customers can shop online right now," she said.
Loy stated the website launched in March and they are currently in the process of making more additions to the website.
"We still have several other products to show on the site," she said.
The website displays several types of women’s boutique items in sizes small to 3X. The store carries all styles and sizes along with a large variety of jewelry and accessories, the women said.
Loy feels this is a convenient way to still keep their business progressing due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Although they're hurting financially as a business, Davis and Loy have sympathy for all the other businesses that are also feeling the effects from the COVID-19 crisis. As co-owners, they know it is a concern how all businesses will function in the community. But during this crisis, they are staying positive and hopeful life will return back to functioning well again by trusting in God.
"Tonia and I are staying hopeful and praying that things will get back to normal," Loy said.
It remains uncertain when the coronavirus will fully be cleared, but it's important everyone follows the safety guidelines and protocol procedures Ark. Governor Asa Hutchinson has enforced all Arkansans.
Davis and Loy continue to thank their family, friends and customers for their support.
Cute AF store will remain closed for the rest of this week. They'll take it week-by-week and plan on making further decisions pertaining to their business while the COVID-19 outbreak remains a top concern worldwide.
Anyone can still contact them on the Cute Affordable Fashion Facebook page at Cute AF - Affordable Fashion.