The COVID-19 pandemic closed many local businesses for a while, including Countdown 2 Escape in Frisco.
"If there is an absolute worst business to have in the pandemic, it would be escape rooms," owner Shannon Hammonds said.
That's because escape rooms put people together in close quarters, trying to get out. In that sense, it's a lot like what we've all been living these past few months.
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'How can we bring a little bit of happy to people's lives,' was the question Hammonds and her husband, Fred, asked themselves when they started their side business 'Little Bit of Happy.'
"So families are looking for something to do together," Hammonds said. They decided to sell puzzles out of their garage. "This is the happy side," she said pointing to shelves of puzzles.
The first shipment was 600 puzzles. "Y'all in one month we sold half of them!"
"I think people are finding that it really isn't so bad spending time with your family all around the table at home," Hammonds said about the popularity of puzzles.
She also started putting together 'Bundles of Happy' gift bags out of a home office. They include small items like stationery, soaps, inspirational messages, and candles. "I'm looking for things you can't find on Amazon," Hammonds said.
Their 'Little Bit of Happy' side business has kept the Hammonds busy and kept their spirits high during what has been a tough time for many.
"It really does make an impact to a small business owner whose business has been closed," Hammonds said.
Countdown 2 Escape in downtown Frisco was able to reopen this past week, but the Hammonds haven't given up their side hustle mission.
"My hope is that we can remind people that you are part of a little bit of happy in Frisco," Hammonds said.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.