Vogue – Laura Vinroot Poole shuttered her Charlotte, North Carolina boutique Capitol on March 17, just as the state’s coronavirus shelter in place regulations were going into effect. It was a challenging two months for the shopkeeper, as she tried to keep her employees on payroll and make sales via text. The threat of losing the store she founded in 1998 felt real. “I’m not afraid of the virus, I’m afraid of the business not coming back,” she said.

Last week, North Carolina became one of the first states to loosen its stay-at-home restrictions, and over the weekend, Capitol reopened. The pillows were fluffed, vases were filled with fresh peonies, and bottles of Purell dotted shelves here and there. Vinroot Poole’s brother is a medical director for the largest mining company in the world and he laid out some best practices for the Capitol staff. She equipped them with pastel fabric masks and the directive to ask customers whether or not they wanted their salespeople to wear them.

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