Rachel Hunter wasn’t about to let the pandemic put her out of business. She had poured too much of her heart, energy, ingenuity and finances into A Florae, the floral design studio and retail shop she owns and operates in downtown Longmont, Colorado.

But the economic fallout from covid-19 forced urgent innovation, and she leaned into the challenge with a hard focus on business growth. In the biggest decision of her career, even as the overall economic outlook remained uncertain at best, Hunter not only readjusted her lines of business but expanded both her retail space and employee headcount, which was seemingly counter-intuitive in the middle of a pandemic with “e-commerce” as the prevailing buzzword.

“That’s a gutsy move in this environment,” said Mark West, national vice president of business solutions for Principal®, who counsels business owners like Hunter. “But she was willing to bet on herself.”

Hunter says the struggles in 2020 helped inform and define her.

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