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The Yellow Phase has been in pace for about a week. Small businesses like Izzy & Gab have been following Governor Wolf’s guidelines in order to operate.

Izzy & Gab began with private shopping appointments.

“They sanitized their hands, they all had their masks. They were really just excited just to get out. People are like, a little bit of normal! And we debated. I will say it was a last minute decision to open. We debated,” said Stephanie Maleno, owner of Izzy & Gab.

The owners of West Erie Plaza and applying for financial aid helped this new business weather this storm.

“They’re very accommodating to us here at West Erie. So I have to say thank you to them. I can’t thank them enough… For me, it was such a blessing because we had other things going on in our life like being we weren’t open a year and work on like should we apply for some grant money, should look for some zero-interest loans, and that’s what I was focusing on more because I felt it was important to shutdown fully and self-quarantine,” said Maleno.

No one could have expected this to happen, but Maleno is humbled and grateful for the Erie community.

“When you’re a brand new brand it’s pretty rare to make a profit in your first year. It’s pretty rare because you’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into your company… I will say Erie community thank you- super supportive. The first 7 or 8 months we were open, our number were way beyond what I ever projected,” she said.

The pandemic is far from over but the future is looking bright for Izzy & Gab.

“We’re doing more private shopping appoints, like if you have a graduation you want to get dressed for, we absolutely will outfit you for graduation. If you have a photo shoot, if you have a wedding, and have a wedding party, we’ll do private shopping appointments for you. That way we can kind of control the crowd,” said Maleno.

There are also a few more things up Stephanie’s sleeves that are in the works. For now, they will remain secret until she’s ready to release them to the world.

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