Lucky Leo's owners

Owners Sondra Reis (left), and Jessica Jacob.

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HEBRON, Ind. — A small shop in Hebron, Indiana has made a big difference in the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it was providing options to stay safe, or creating opportunities for first-time parents like taking pictures with Santa Claus, Lucky Leo’s spread lots of love and goodwill to their community while enduring a global pandemic.

The story behind the name comes from the day owner Sondra Reis happened upon a four-leaf clover. She combined that with the astrological sign of Leo, shared with co-owner Jessica Jacob.

The pandemic hit about two weeks before the store’s original opening date. Reis and Jacob decided to delay the opening until May 4, 2020.

Since then, Reis and Jacob have found ways to work around the virus, still providing for their community but keeping their distance and staying safe. In the beginning stages of their opening, social distancing was in effect. So owners Reis and Jacob set up their store with appointment-based only visits. This way customers felt safe enough to be in the store with each other, in limited quantities, with a large distance between each other.

Since the two owners knew people needed to find some fun amid all the chaos, Reis and Jacob offered a board game rental service. The owners knew it would be impossible to get anywhere else due to COVID-19.

“We would even offer to come and bring it to their house,” Reis said.

Additionally, to combat the COVID-19 crisis, Reis and Jacob provided pictures with Santa Claus during the month of December. Santa was in a large chair, and an ottoman at least six feet in front of Santa Claus was placed for kids to sit, so both the store owners and the parents felt safe.

“Some new parents didn’t have any pictures with their child,” Reis added. “This was their first time out of the house with their babies.”

Jacob stated that “COVID-19 almost benefitted us. Since there was only grocery store clothing available, we were the only other option. It helped as a small business to be able to stay open.” During this time, Jacob and Reis encountered people in emergency foster care and grandparents who had been given children to take care of.

“I needed to pass goodwill to other people,” said Reis.

The idea of spreading that goodwill to others is actually where the store’s slogan came from. Reis stated that “a little shop with a big heart” stems from the idea of spreading that goodwill to others and that “it makes us feel good because we’re able to give to other people”.

Once COVID-19 restrictions began to ease, and people got more comfortable going out, customers were in for a surprise once they came back to the store. Instead of two rooms, the store had grown into three. Reis said that once people walked in for the first time in a long time, they would be caught saying “oh my gosh you’ve grown!”

Jacob says that her favorite part about owning a local business is “meeting all of the different people, as well as the collectors that come into our shop.”

Some customers have made Lucky Leo’s a shopping staple, Reis said that “it’s almost like some of our customers are family.”

Store owners Reis and Jacob want customers to know that the easiest way to figure out what they have in stock is to “come in and explore.” Items that are on sale during the day will appear on the businesses’ Facebook page.

Lucky Leo’s accepts donations during their business hours. There’s also an incentive for donations, any time you donate you’ll receive a 10 percent off punch on a punch card. The punch card can eventually add up to 50 percent off of a customer’s purchase at the shop. Customers can find all the updates regarding hours, sales, and information on Lucky Leo’s Facebook page, Lucky Leo’s Resale.

The shop is located at 122 N Main St.

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