Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘Some days I just go with the flow and feel like my business can ride this out, and other days I feel like I experienced the devastation of what a house fire must feel like.’

Paola Giordano, Cold Spring Harbor

“I’m an artist and I have been designing one-of-a-kind jewelry since 2003. I transitioned to full-time almost six years ago after leaving the corporate world. I sell my work by participating in between 35 to 40 fine juried art shows and other events each year. My pieces are also carried in stores and galleries. As a small business owner, I don’t have set hours, but work from the moment that I get up until it’s time for bed.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 has drastically affected my business. I’m one of many small business owners across the United States who are suffering because all art shows and similar events have been cancelled. Several of the stores where my pieces were once carried have closed. Galleries struggle to stay open, sales are dismal, and several show promoters that I have worked with for years have either taken early retirement or claimed bankruptcy. The entire structure of the remaining work force has changed. People aren’t getting dressed up for work, and formal events aren’t taking place. Many people have lost their jobs, and frivolous spending on items like artwork, specifically jewelry, are no longer options.

I’m trying to revitalize my business and myself, and my hope is that things will get better and that people will be interested in my work. That’s all any of us can really do, is hope for a brighter road ahead.

“Some days I just go with the flow and feel like my business can ride this out, and other days I feel like I experienced the devastation of what a house fire must feel like. Everything I have worked so hard for feels like it’s slipping away. I can’t control what is happening. I want to be able to work. I want to be able to engage with people, interact, explain my process, inspiration and creativity. It’s what I’m meant to do, and now all I can do is re-group and try to think of other ways to have some sort of visibility.

“I recently designed a brand-new website, have been more dedicated to my social media presence, and once the weather gets nicer, I plan on going back to the basics and pounding the pavement with brochures and business cards. I’m trying to revitalize my business and myself, and my hope is that things will get better and that people will be interested in my work. That’s all any of us can really do, is hope for a brighter road ahead.”