OCEANSIDE — During this National Women’s Small Business Month, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath honors Sew O’side as the 2020 California Small Business of the Year for Assembly District 76. Each year, California Assemblymembers and State Senators select a small business to be recognized for their contributions to the community and the opportunities they create for residents of the district.
Sew O’Side was selected because of the outstanding efforts of its owner and staff to use their skills to provide North County with valuable services during the ongoing pandemic.
“Small businesses in particular have had to navigate so much uncertainty in these past few months,” said Assemblymember Boerner Horvath. “Despite it all, the crew at Sew O’side has really gone above and beyond to innovate, adapt and take care of their neighbors. Amanda and her staff deserve our gratitude for their efforts to keep business operating safely while turning outwards to use their skills for good.”
Sew O’side was founded in 2018 as a sewing equipment and fabric store offering classes and sewing camps to help people of all ages develop their skills. When public health officials started recommending the use of facial coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the team sprang into action to sew and donate masks, while creating how-to videos and supply kits so residents could make their own at home.
“In a moment when the whole world stopped, Sew O’side was able to change direction to service the community by sharing our talents,” said Amanda Gerard, the store’s owner. “Since March, Sew O’side has been able to donate hundreds of yards of material and other mask supplies to other local makers, and we have personally produced well over 5,000 face masks with over half being donations to our community. We have been overwhelmingly blessed by our community and their support in return.”
The legislature’s tradition of celebrating small businesses from each district began twenty years ago with HR 57, establishing California Small Business Day™ and recognizing the growing number of women-owned small businesses in the state. While the May celebration was postponed until 2021, Boerner Horvath and several of her colleagues chose to honor a small business that has demonstrated resilience and community spirit in the midst of the year’s challenges.
“Amanda Gerard and her team at Sew O’side are a shining example of how a business can adapt their operations to serve their community in challenging times,” said Scott Ashton, CEO of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce. “By producing thousands of masks early on in the COVID-19 crisis, Sew O’side met a critical need of our businesses and residents. We are proud to have Amanda’s business as part of our Chamber and the Oceanside community.”