LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18) — Like most everyone when the coronavirus started to affect businesses, Lisa and John Justice were not sure what to expect.
"We were concerned at first you know... just with everything going on," John Justice said.
The couple had just taken ownership of Chevy Chase Hardware in December. The Lexington staple has been around since 1946, and they did not want to be the ones to close the doors forever, so they started burning the midnight oil.
"Once we were allowed to stay open, we just started thinking outside the box," John said.
They immediately shifted and started selling everything people were looking for, from green light bulbs to bleach, gloves and masks.
"Bluegrass Distillery helped us with the hand sanitizer. We had a source for the rubber gloves, " John said. "It was actually a neighbor who helped us get the masks we are selling today."
Where other stores have run out of these items, the Justices decided the only way they could make this work is if they kept their shelves stocked by being as resourceful as possible.
"He's on the phone all the time," Lisa said of John. "He's driven to Ohio to get light bulbs, so it's been a lot of legwork and creativity."
They make sure to be active on social media, posting about items they have just gotten in and keeping customers up-to-date on what is going on, whether it is new seeds in the gardening section or more items in demand due to COVID-19.
"We had Clorox wipes one morning for 30 minutes," Lisa Justice chuckled.
Now, they are not only keeping their doors open, they are expanding. They are taking over the space next door. An anomaly during this time.
"We just wanted to be sure we worked to gain everything people need to stay safe," John said.
They said they are thankful to their customers who have made this possible. They hope they can serve as an example to other business owners that while it's not easy, with some creativity and tireless work, it is possible to see this difficult time through.
"It's very rewarding to be able to help people and we're glad," Lisa Justice said. "The comments we've been getting in the store, people thank us over and over again, and I mean we thank them for coming to see us so it's kind of a win-win."
Chevy Chase Hardware is located at 883 E. High Street in Lexington.