Novel coronavirus impacts factories abroad, business owners in Tucson

Local business owner feels the economic impact of the novel coronavirus

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - While there are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Pima County, the illness is having an impact on residents — especially those trying to celebrate their big day.

Joyce Feickert is a southern Arizona wedding dress designer and owner of Hem and Her, located at 4004 N. Stone Road.

She’s been sewing since she was 4 years old and spends most her days behind the pedal bringing her creations to life.

“We design gowns from scratch," Feickert said.

Every gown, veil, and the fine details in between requires yards of fabric

"All different kinds of lace, hundreds of different patterns.”'

Which means she needs quite the supply if only she could get her hands on more of it.

“All of the sudden I’m calling for materials. I’m getting emails from the ladies that run the factories and they’re saying we don’t know when we can get our helpers back into the factories to finish up all these dresses you’ve designed,” Feickert said.

The factories Feickert uses are located in China, where the novel coronavirus has caused delays for stores like hers across the U.S.

"I’m not getting any answers I assume they’re not either,” Feickert said

Feickert said items completed before the outbreak will likely be shipped but there’s still no guarantee. Right now, she has about 15 finished veils waiting to be shipped and several others that will be delayed.

"The ones that haven’t been made yet are going to be delayed for quite a while.”

Feickert has a decent size stock to see her through, but for the brides about to walk down the aisle, it’s become a nightmare.

"We have already had to rescue a few brides that just aren’t going to wait anymore.”

This is a designer’s nightmare with seemingly no end in the near future, leaving brides and store owners to find ways to not be left hanging by a thread.

“After 37 years you’ve gotta be pretty prepared,” Feickert said.

When it comes to how long this delay will last, there’s no telling.

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