What does it take to open up a business right before the pandemic hits? For sisters Lindsey and Marissa Phelps, it was all about adaptability.  

"Twenty business days we were open and then the rug got pulled out," Lindsey Phelps said. 

What You Need To Know

  • Small businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

  • A wellness studio had to adapt quickly only weeks after opening.

  • They plan to be fully open in phase 4.

The sisters had opened Zen Den -- their meditation and massage wellness studio in Rotterdam in February. The pandemic closed most businesses less than a month later. 

"It's all about adaptability, flexibility and belief and faith that you can pull through, especially in a crisis like this," Lindsey said. 

Their business model had to evolve faster than they anticipated. They offered online wellness courses for kids and adults on Facebook Live.

"We wanted to go to online courses before and classes, so it moved us along in that direction," Lindsey said.

Now they're re-opening, with massage bookings starting next week and meditation classes back in phase four. 

"We have a safety plan ready and we're having certainly masks and cleaning supplies and everything we need to be safe and all of our customers are safe," Marissa Phelps said. 

Zen Den's studio is in a converted elementary school both Lindsey and Marissa attended as kids. Now the first-time small business owners are getting a much different education  in the same building.

"Being an entrepeneur means you are a janitor, you are a marketing director, you're a finance director, PR, you're a social media director," Marissa said. "You have all these roles you have to play. It's balancing those, learning those."

The sisters hope the studio provides a space for tranquility in a stressful time.