Editor's Note: Life since COVID-19 has changed things for all of us. We’ve experienced hardships, heartaches, and challenges, but also new and sometimes unexpected reasons to be thankful. This new Lake Report series shares some of the stories of NOTL residents as we all reflect on our experience of life in a pandemic.
Stopping, starting and stopping again.
That’s been especially frustrating for Melina Morsch, owner of Fox Den Goat Yoga, which runs a thriving business in NOTL, mixing goats with yoga, to the delight of her smiling clients.
Her business was growing so successfully that Morsch had ambitious expansion plans in play last March. Then boom, “everything came to a full stop” with the COVID-19 restrictions.
“I was investing in my business, building a new barn, buying more animals and a trailer,” she said, adding “the expenses and overhead don’t change. The goats still need food, board, equipment and veterinarian care.”
Morsch weathered the first lockdown and when she was able to start her sessions again in June, it kicked off “a fantastic half-season,” she said.
But when October rolled around, Morsch shut down voluntarily.
“I realized participants were coming from all over the GTA, which was in red zone restrictions at that time, and in good conscience, I didn’t want to attract them here.”
Fox Den would normally operate all winter and, in the past, winter weekends have consistently sold out.
As an entrepreneur, “there’s an adrenalin rush when your business is doing well” and Morsch misses that, along with the energy and interaction with her clients.
During the latest lockdown, she’s using the time to “sit down and strategize and do some analysis,” she said. “Until now I’ve been chasing the business as it grew, so in some ways it’s good to be able to rest and draw back from the cycle.”
It also gives her more time with her sons, Jacob, 12, and Colin, 11, who are doing school online. The hardest thing for them, she said, has been losing their sports.
“My boys were very active in sports, hockey and volleyball. They were hanging on to that like a lifeline, but it’s cancelled now.”
So, like many, Morsch is looking ahead, hoping for a return to sports and school for her boys, and a restart of her business.
“I’m already getting inquiries for spring and summer. There’s lots of interest.”
Like many NOTL businesses, “We’re all poised for the next season to do some catch up. We will get through the tunnel, we just need to support each other,” she added.
“I am 100 per cent confident NOTL will bounce back good and strong.”