In our new series, locals share what they’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic and talk about their worries, habits and hopes.
When Rahim Khudabux, co-owner and general manager of Max Furniture, isn’t at the shop, he’s home isolating with wife Rayyann, daughter Taya, and his “business partner/family member” Al Hasham.
“He likes to tell us what’s best for Taya, all the time,” Khubabux jokes.
The two have limited the hours at Max Furniture to five days a week and they have only two people working.
“When we’re not at the store, we’re home with family enjoying quality time,” he says.
He shared with YAM what his new normal looks like.
What has been the biggest change for you since Covid hit?
We have completely had to change how we conduct business at Max Furniture. We have changed how people shop — now encouraging them to call us, video message us or send us pictures if they don’t have to come in. We have had to lay off some staff and downsize our hours. Our revenue has also dropped quite a bit. Having to make those changes essentially overnight in a growing business was extremely challenging!
What does your typical day look like?
We get up as a family and spend more time together in the mornings then we have before. Having a one-year-old at home makes it interesting ALL the time. We get ready for the day whether we have to leave to go to work or are spending time at home/walking around the neighbourhood — or watching every movie EVER made!
What are you most worried about?
My largest concern is when things will get back to a “new normal.” I’m not worried about what the new normal will look like — I am worried about how long this will take a toll on our local, national and global economies, and hope that we can be in a position to recover from this when it is safe to do so. As entrepreneurs we have to adapt to change — that comes with the territory — but when you have an unknown timeline based on unknown outcomes, it gets frustrating and scary at the same time.
How do you de-stress?
Did I mention my one-year-old? She is growing and learning at such a rapid pace that being home with her right now is a blessing too. Also we go for walks, watch movies, exercise and work on chores that have been on the back burner for awhile. Getting things off a checklist is always de-stressing — crossing things off a list is the BEST!
What have you been reading/watching/listening to?
ALL The movies we can. And pulling out old CDs from high school and listening to songs from when you were 17 makes you feel very nostalgic — also just being silly and dancing around the living room with our family has been fun too!
Have you rediscovered any hobbies?
Working on mini – renos around the house has been good. I love doing reno work but with the business we usually just outsource it or put it off. Right now I have had the time to get some things done, pick up some new tools and have enjoyed working on our home — it is something I love to do and that has been a lot of fun!
Is there anything from this time you hope carries forward when this is over?
I heard through one of my Chamber of Commerce Zoom sessions that a benefit to isolation has forced people ( who normally would NOT) to incorporate technology in their lives, both personally and through work — from being better on social media, to having full on Zoom meetings with work and family, to selling more through e-commerce style business. Max Furniture is a brick and mortar store – I love retail and I love being brick and mortar – but it’s nice to have something push us to be more advanced. I hope that part stays so we can marry the two of them together for business success down the road. This has given us the time to implement things we didn’t make time for before and that gives me HOPE for a bright future for us all!