For more than 30 years, Bloomfield’s Kirei Samuel has been creating and selling her custom glass work directly to the public. The in-person experience offered by local farmers markets and seasonal arts-and-crafts shows have been fundamental to the success of her Lalaland Glass Studio.

Kirei has always loved the direct contact of meeting customers in person and explaining how each piece is made. But that approach had to adjust with the pandemic as in-person events became problematic.

She turned Digital Main Street (DMS) and her local Digital Service Squad for the “stellar” training and grant funding support to develop a new website and to boost her online community engagement. This has enabled her to remain in contact with the loyal customers she would usually meet at a local event.

“When COVID-19 hit, my world came tumbling down overnight,” Kirei said. “With DMS, I have been able to set up and market a new website within six weeks …  even though I considered myself a Luddite and truly believed that no one would ever be able to teach me how to operate one.”

“DMS’s ease of application and the professional manner in which it was executed was such a help to me in navigating a world I had been nervous to enter,” she added. “My e-commerce coordinator / trainer was very knowledgeable and patient and guided me with an expert hand.”

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