Surviving and thriving through the pandemic, small business owner Tori Bishop opened her newest store, Twirl by Obsession, in Hammond square.
As a high school senior in 2013, Bishop started working as a manager of Obsession boutique after her mother bought the shop from the previous owner. She worked alongside her mother throughout college until becoming owner after graduating.
Not too long after, she opened her second store, Tailored Clothing and Home, which has been up and running for the last five years. After nearly 10 years of business, Bishop expanded her business to open her third store.
Along the journey, Bishop received much help from family, locals in the community and Southeastern’s Small Business Development Center, but most importantly her mom. Bishop said she owes her success to her mother as she continues to help closely alongside to support Bishop.
“She bought the store and then I came on later as one of the owners. So I had help. She still is very involved in the store. We are a mother-daughter duo, times two we like to say because I just had a little girl a year ago, but she’s my biggest help and we do it as a team,” Bishop said.
With the pandemic, nearly every business experienced extensive struggles, especially small businesses. This expanded issue did not stop Bishop. Only months before the shutdown, Bishop had expanded her business online by selling on Facebook, Instagram, her app and website.
When the world shut down and stores closed, Bishop’s customers could confidently find her and all the new styles online — each day she went to the store alone to upload new clothes online and package to send out orders.
“I immediately went from a 15-girl crew down to just me and I was able to survive because we had a mobile app and we had online. So I kind of pivoted and I sold stuff on Facebook Live. For the eight weeks that we were shut down, I did nothing but live sales, shipping and local pickup where I brought people their packages to their cars, but I would say my hardest time was during those eight weeks of the pandemic,” Bishop added.
As a long-standing member of the community, Bishop has become a well-respected business owner. She is constantly giving back to the community and answering their requests. Her newest store is inspired by the community’s constant desire for prom dresses.
Along with being a University alumna, Bishop has created a line of Southeastern wear. Her green and gold styles are highly desired by students.
Bishop concluded, “Hammond is fabulous. Tangipahoa Parish is fabulous and so everything that I do, the community supports. So then as a business owner, I want to give back to that community.
Bishop plans to grow all three of her stores not only through her online presence, but also through her brick-and-mortar locations.