by Terry Rogers
John Mollura feels it is critical during the era of COVID-19 to let people know small businesses are still here and that people are open for business. As a small business owner himself, he understands how difficult the past few months have been for small businesses. In an effort to highlight not only the business, but the people behind its success, Mollura created the “Brick and Pixel” project.
“This was an idea I had to showcase the people behind the scenes that make our economy work,” Mollura said. “The photos are inside the building, in front of the storefront or wherever seems to work. We can even work with those who don’t actually have a storefront. My first shoot was with a guy who sat in his koi pond. I want to put a face with the people who own these businesses.”
In a Facebook post, Mollura acknowledged the comradery of the downtown business district, stating that he had witnessed amazing support. He explained that the project was designed to showcase the businesses that are not only surviving but thriving in the downtown area.
“On the best of days, it is difficult to navigate owning your own business,” Mollura wrote. “COVID has pushed us well beyond the edge of the map into insanely uncharted waters. These past five months have put into sharp relief that community is more important than ever right now, both in our personal lives and in our businesses. I realized I don’t know most of you by name and I don’t know what many of you look like. I think this might be true for many other business owners. Bolstering our personal connection would make our downtown business network even stronger. Many times, prospective clients only see a storefront and have no idea who the hard-working, passionate individuals that make our downtown commerce possible actually are.”
Mollura explained that his first few shoots have been interesting, and he is enjoying finding out what makes each downtown business unique. He tries to get the owners and employees to loosen up and relax, grabbing photos of their fun side as well as their professional side. The photo shoot is free, and he just asks any business interested to sign up on his website. He said slots filled so quickly, he had to add more due to the response.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw how fragile the global supply chain can be,” Mollura said. “Now I am trying to show how people are still here and promote how important it is to shop local.”
Anyone interested in participating in the Brick and Pixel project can register at https://calendly.com/johnmollura/downtown-milford.