Page 13 - BusinessWest October 13, 2021
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  North Adams
Continued from page 11
Recently celebrating the first anni- versary of the Plant Connector, Yawn noted that, since the opening, more than 6,700 people have walked through the door, and they’ve been averaging around 800 people a month — not bad for a 400-square-foot space.
While they have a website and have recently sold plants to customers in New Jersey, nearly 90% of their sales are from local people in the Berkshires.
“We feel very supported by the com- munity,” Yawn said. “North Adams is a special place; I’ve never felt connected to so many awesome people.”
As the weather starts getting cooler, business is picking up, and Yawn is looking forward to leaf peepers drawn to the Mohawk Trail and surrounding areas. “We’re excited for them to come peep around our shop,” she added.
Businesses in North Adams are
also gearing up for the holiday season and what’s known as Plaid Friday. The North Adams Chamber promotes this annual effort with posters and through social media to businesses throughout the Northern Berkshires.
“We started this initiative to encour-
“We feel very supported by the community. North Adams is a special place; I’ve never felt connected to so many awesome people.”
age people to spend money in their communities on the day after Thanks- giving instead of going to the big-box stores,” Dery said. “Many retailers will run Plaid Friday all that weekend.”
Similar to most communities, hir- ing in North Adams, particularly in restaurants, remains a challenge. So far, many restaurants are operating at reduced hours to retain staff and pre- vent burnout.
“This upcoming winter will be inter- esting because many people are think- ing outside the box on how to best manage this,” Dery said.
The Next Phase
Bernard will also have an interesting winter after deciding not to run again for mayor. On the job since 2018, he called his time in office a “privilege of
a lifetime, to serve North Adams, the community where I grew up.”
He looks forward to an historic election as voters will choose the first woman mayor in the city’s history. The two candidates who emerged from the runoff election, Jennifer Macksey and Lynette Bond, will face each other in the mayor’s race in November.
Bernard said he is still exploring the next move in his career. “I’m asked so often about my future plans, I feel like a senior in college,” he said with a laugh.
As she reflected on the success of the Plant Connector, Yawn admitted she thought the store would flop and she would have to sell plants on eBay and Etsy to survive. Shortly after open- ing, however, she saw they had some- thing special there.
“I always say this about North Adams,” Yawn said. “This city chooses its people, and people don’t choose it. That’s why there’s a high concentration of awesome people here.” v
Emilee Yawn and Bonnie Marks, co- owners of the Plant Connector, recently shared this photo on social media depicting their opening day last fall.
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OCTOBER 13, 2021 13
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