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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Shop My Porch | Connects neighborhoods and helps small businesses

Shop My Porch was created by a local woman to help save small businesses hurting during the pandemic.

SAN DIEGO — From the looks of it, this is a festive Rancho Penasquitos front porch, but look closer and you'll see everything is for sale (excluding the furniture and trees).

"I specialized in pandemic ornaments," said Phyllis Cheung, the founder of ShopMyPorch.com.

She is a San Diego maker, she makes custom gifts and specializes in wood work.

"There's toilet paper roll with a list of everything that went wrong this year," said Cheung.

Many local makers rely on craft fairs and markets to help them earn their primary source of income, but closures and restrictions have killed too many of these small businesses.

"Without holiday fairs their income was down to zero," said Cheung.

"Everyone has overhead. Everyone has to buy product in order to make product," added Cheung.

To survive the restrictive purple tier, Cheung came up with a "shop my porch" concept.

"I started out on weekend with my porch is open if you want to shop. One person at a time, wear a mask. It is safe. And so I sold out of 1,000 that weekend," said Cheung.

She knew she was on to something, so she asked other makers to join the movement, including Sue Lockhart who sells soft Mexican blankets in Mira Mesa.

"We buy the Mexican blankets from a distributor in San Diego County. I wash them and steam iron them to make them soft. And then I put a fleece or sherpa backing on it," said Lockhart.

Both are grateful for the community support - helping small businesses and the local economy.

"It's easy to social distance and a nice way to get to know your neighbors," said Lockhart.

"It is so humbling to see the community rallying around all the makers," said Cheung.

Makers can sign up for the Shop My Porch platform for free. Cheung launched the site a week ago and already has 50 makers on board across the country.

Shopping Locally Makes A Difference This concept started with San Diego moving back into the highly restrictive Purple Tier. Heading into the holiday season, this level of restriction would be detrimental to many local makers and home based businesses who rely on local craft fairs, and markets as their primary source of income.