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Making the Best of Times During COVID-19 | Hayward Gaude Photography

Shannon Gaude Hayward Gaude Photography

Shannon Gaude

Hayward and Shannon Gaude own Hayward Gaude Photography and have been clients of the UTSA SBDC since 2013 and in business for over 10 years. The Gaudes tragically lost their family’s visual legacy during Hurricane Katrina, which spurred their relocation to San Antonio. The Hayward’s experience gives them a unique connection with their clients and a deep understanding of the priceless meaning behind portrait photography.

Just like all small businesses, they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and have had to adapt their business model to the limitations on an art that requires being in the same space as their customers. They began by creating new marketing materials communicating how much they miss their clients, calling them “hug” cards. They also began contact-less delivery of clients’ portraits that were completed prior to the stay-at-home orders, because they did not want families to have to risk coming to them or waiting to receive their cherished memories.

They have also created a YouTube channel, where they interview other local small business owners to discuss what they are currently focusing on and how they are preparing for recovery. Their weekly postings serve as encouragement and a sense of community that small businesses are not in this alone.

The Haywards also wanted to find a way to show their gratitude to the heroes on the front lines helping our community fight against COVID-19 in keeping our essential services open. “Portraits for Heroes” allows people to submit information about the hero in their life and in return their hero will receive a gift voucher for a signature studio portrait session. They have been able to gift 20 local heroes.

The Haywards are receiving current assistance from UTSA SBDC’s Senior Advisors Crystal Darby and Patrice McElfresh through guidance in applying for SBA disaster relief funding and staying informed of available options.

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