Open For Business

How These Local Business Owners Adapted During these Challenging Times

Jane Shobe

Franchise Owner, Expedia Cruises

Expedia CruiseShipCenters, in Laguna Niguel, opened its doors in the Aliso Village Center almost a year ago as one of over 400 stores Nationwide. Its Vacation Consultants are more than just trained experts; they are also passionate travelers and cruise enthusiasts who share their experiences to help clients create the best vacation packages available.

How has your business adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic?

This has been a challenging time for us. Our clients’ well-planned trips have been cancelled and we are helping them to decide if it is better to cancel for a refund or rebook.  We spend time on the phones with the airlines and cruise lines so that they do not have to.  Even though we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will all travel again, during these times of isolation we are still to serve - before, during and after each trip we create. Our agents are working diligently from their homes to assist our valued travelers at times convenient to them. We are able to have weekly video conference calls to ensure we are all up to date on the current travel situation and able to best advise our clients on their options. So while we all look forward to seeing smiling faces again, let’s just dream of our next vacation and start planning! or call (949) 273-5444

Dick Simon

Owner/Broker, Dick Simon Yachts

Located in the heart of Dana Point Harbor, Dick Simon Yachts specializes in selling yachts, private whale watching, sport fishing, and sailing charters. Over the past 30 years, Dick Simon Yachts has become the one of the largest yacht dealers in the west coast.  Owner and Broker, Dick Simon is a great guy to know. He’s a former national champion skydiver, Indianapolis 500 Race car driver, expert scuba diver, a multi-engine pilot, and even an alternate to the 1960 Olympic ski team!

How has your business adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Actually, we’ve been pretty busy. Partially, because a lot of people we’ve sold boats to who are taking this time get them fixed up. So, it seems like nothing has slowed for us; and I’ve had a steady stream of appointments all this week. Sales have been a little slower, but not by much. We’re here and wide open for business, while observing social distancing guidelines. While our salespeople are in and out, I’m right here, every day, seven days a week. Our office is spacious—and when people walk in the door, we have a big beautiful couch right across from our receptionist. It’s about 10-15 feet away, so we can conduct business without getting too close. We can even show our inventory of boats on the large screen TV. The good thing about buying a yacht and getting out on the water is that it’s the ultimate in social distancing. or call (949) 493-2011.

"The good thing about buying a yacht and getting out on the water is that it’s the ultimate in social distancing."

Karen Reuter

Owner, Karen Reuter Photography

Karen Reuter loves creating extraordinary images and she loves people! When we launched Laguna Niguel Lifestyle over a year ago, we immediately asked Karen if she would join our team. Lucky for us, she did!  Photography of the highest caliber is a must for a premium publication like ours. Clearly, we did the right thing by involving Karen.

Karen always puts people first. And she loves getting to know her clients and becoming friends with them. This approach ensures a relaxed, enjoyable experience for all—and Karen is able to capture the genuine personalities of her subjects. If you, your business, or family have any photography needs, we highly recommend Karen Reuter Photography!

How has your business adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic?

I’ve been able to work through the shutdown pretty well. I had a few jobs that required a lot of design and retouching, so that kept me busy through the first few weeks.

I was able to create a few headshots for clients also. Being sensitive to their comfort and safety, I shot with a long lens, maintaining more than a 6 ft. distance, and I wore a mask, of course. It was hot and a little difficult at time. For instance, when a hair was out of place, I couldn’t just go up and comb it, but rather, had to verbally direct my subject to do what was needed. It took more time, but it worked out well. Also, I couldn’t hire hair and makeup artists, due to social distancing guidelines.

I’m now spending much needed time updating my portfolio and preparing my marketing for when the pandemic is finally over. When the lockdown is lifted, I hope to jump in quickly with both feet and make up for lost business! or call (949) 488-3144

John Yocca

Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

John Yocca is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Monarch Beach. John is a former Air Force Veteran and Corporate CEO. He specializes in Residential Real Estate in South Orange County.

How has your business adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Once real estate was deemed an essential business, I went back to work selling and leasing homes, but things were not the same. Many of the tools we typically use to promote a home, such as open houses, were no longer advisable nor allowed. I realized I have to work harder to sell properties. I’m using tools such as virtual walkthroughs online and streaming live from open houses. Additionally, with fewer active buyers, I've increased both print and digital marketing efforts to attract those buyers to my listings.

These efforts have been paying off, and buyers are accepting the “new normal” of home shopping. Buyers and their agents are donning masks, wearing gloves, and removing their shoes before entering homes. Also, buyer’s agents are doing live video walkthroughs of houses with clients viewing from their phones. Appraisers, home inspectors, and notaries are also changing the way they do business to be safe, and in compliance, with the stay at home order. or call (949) 683-8884

"I have to work harder to sell properties. I’m using tools such as virtual walkthroughs online and streaming live from open houses."

Holly Tabrizi

Owner, 9 Round Kickboxing

9Round is a specialized fitness center for people who want a unique, fun, and proven workout. 9Round offers a kickboxing themed fitness program that incorporates a functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. The programs consist of a proprietary system of nine challenging workout stations developed by a World Champion Kickboxer.

How has your business adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Like all fitness centers, we’ve had to shut down during this changing time. But our members are still enthusiastic and excited to get back into the studio. We stay in touch with them regularly through social media channels and have been supplying a steady stream of live workouts online. We’re also offer digital membership program for only $1 a Day. This includes our at-home workouts and you'll a free month of unlimited in-gym access a free pair of 9Round hand wraps once we reopen! or call (949) 297-6911

Joanna Barker

Owner, Inspirations Interior Design

Inspirations Interior Design offers complete interior design services to the residential, hospitality, and commercial communities, with years of success, experience and wisdom behind it. Joanna Barker has put together a team of seasoned professionals to work on her projects adding to the value for her clients. She will provide her clients with specifications, connections, and discounts available to her through the many associations she has established over the years.

How has your business adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic?

I have not had too much change other than I am working remotely with clients rather than being in their homes. But it works! The Construction industry is still active so my crews are still going to peoples homes for various projects, we just send them one at a time now. I am busy with clients who have realized they want to do some hone improvements, due to being confined and working from their homes. The most popular items are lighting, paint flooring, kitchens and baths. It’s no problem for me to work this way at all. or call (949) 388-7362

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