Rasheed Wallace and Traci Ford photographed by Eve Hobgood.
As a network of more than 3,000 small businesses, we’re paying close attention to how they’re faring in an age of social distancing. In an effort to stay connected to our TSG community and share their stories, we’re “catching up with” different business owners every week to hear about their challenges, learn how they’re coping, and find out how they’re spending their time at home. Today, we’re checking in with business partners Traci Ford and Rasheed Wallace of For Alma Home, a destination for thoughtful gifts and luxurious home items located in Durham, North Carolina. Here, they discuss finding joy in plants and gardening magazines, reopening plans, and trying to interpret TikToks with teens.
What’s your business up to right now?
For Alma is currently closed. However, we are planning a big re-opening with new products, new paint, and lots of in-store fun. Our plans are to reopen the second week of July.
Your biggest challenge, professionally and/or personally:
Our biggest challenge has definitely been trying to navigate the uncertainty of this pandemic while trying to stay relevant (if that’s possible). It’s been a task “getting the word out” about the store, and the pandemic has not made it any easier.
What’s bringing you joy:
Traci: I am getting so much joy from planting an absurd amount of plants.
Rasheed: I am getting a great amount of joy spending quality time with my 16-year-old and trying to interpret her mumbling and TikToks!
What you’re watching/reading/listening to:
Traci: I am a voracious reader. I am currently reading Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler and every new gardening magazine available.
Your go-to snack:
Traci: My favorite go-to snack is dried mango from Whole Foods.
Rasheed: My go-to snack is shrimp anything.
Your favorite family activity:
Family fun time. The tradition began when Rasheed was a college freshman and he and his teammates and the Fords and family would gather for food and games. Gatherings have garnered 50 or more, and sometimes ended in big food fights. So much fun! [Editor’s note: Rasheed Wallace played basketball at the University of North Carolina, where Ford’s husband was on the coaching staff, before he joined the Detroit Pistons.]
Traci: Also, my greatest family activity is spending time with my three granddaughters, watching the girls swim for countless hours or sing and dance on a makeshift stage. Hanging out with them always invokes mindless joy!
The local businesses/services you’re using this week:
The local business we both used this week was Nantucket Grill in Durham. Rasheed’s mother, Jackie, turned 70 on Sunday, and her favorite cake is Nantucket lemon. Dame’s is always a favorite, along with Vample’s Food Truck. Will definitely be enjoying Vample’s on Friday!