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‘It’s unreal:’ COVID-19 cripples Mardi Gras bead industry

NEW ORLEANS PARADES FOR CARNIVAL 2021 ARE CANCELLED CRIPPLING THE MARDI GRAS BEAD INDUSTRY WDSU REPORTER AUDREY KILLION SPOKE TO ONE BEAD SHOP OWNER WHO SAYS HE JUST HAD TO LAY OFF A A LOT OF A STAFF ALWAYS LIVE IN NEW ORLEANS WITH THAT STORY AUBREY. HEY GINA, SO DAN KELLY WITH BEADS BY THE DOZEN SAYS YESTERDAY. HE HAD TO MAKE THE VERY PAINFUL DECISION TO LAY OFF 15 OF HIS 40 STAFF. HE SAYS MANY OF THEM THEY HAVE BEEN WITH HIM FOR DECADES. SO TAKE A LOOK. I SPOKE WITH DAN KELLY EARLIER TODAY NOW, HE ALSO IN FACT ESTIMATES THAT AS A WHOLE THE MARDI GRAS BEAD INDUSTRY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IT’S GOING TO LOSE 40. DOLLARS AND WITH PARADES CANCELLED DAN KELLEY SAYS THEY’RE GOING TO STORE EIGHT MILLION POUNDS OF BEADS AND PRODUCTS AND THEIR WAREHOUSE THAT IS FOR THE NEXT YEAR THE COMPANY LET US END THEIR WAREHOUSE. YOU CAN SEE A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF PRODUCTS. THEY WERE PLANNING ON SELLING DAN. KELLEY SAYS HAVING TO CUT HIS STAFF. IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT. BUT RIGHT NOW THE BEET INDUSTRY, IT IS PRACTICALLY AT A SHUTDOWN. MANY OF THEM HAVE BEEN WITH US FOR YEARS. WE ARE LIKE FAMILY THIS COMPANY GREW SO SO BIG AND SO FAST OVER THE PAST 25 YEARS AND MANY OF THEM HAVE BEEN WITH US FOR A LONG TIME AND IT WAS REALLY SAD, ESPECIALLY NOW WITH HOLIDAYS COMING UP THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS AND YOU KNOW, YOU SAW SOME OF THE KIDS GROW UP OR YOU SEE THEM GROWING UP AND AND PEOPLE THAT HAVE JUST BEEN WITH US FOR A LONG TIME. IT WAS REALLY A SAD DAY AND WE JUST HOPE THAT THEY CAN EITHER FIND JOBS SOON. OR THEY’LL BE AVAILABLE WHEN WE’RE ABLE TO RESUME MARDI GRAS ACTIVITIES AGAIN, THAT WILL BE ABLE TO BRING THEM BACK BECAUSE WE WILL MISS HIM. AMERICA AND TROLL ALSO SAYS THAT SHE’S ACTUALLY OPEN TO THE IDEA OF LETTING PARADES ROLLING AT A LATER DATE AND 2021. SHE SAYS THAT’S ALL GOING TO APPEND THE DEPEND. OH ON COVID DATA AND OTHER EVENTS HAPPENING IN 2021 REPORTING LIVE ON THE MID-CITY PARADE ROUTE A AUBRY KILLION WDSU NEW

‘It’s unreal:’ COVID-19 cripples Mardi Gras bead industry


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Orleans parades for Carnival 2021 are canceled, crippling the Mardi Gras bead industry. Dan Kelly, Beads By The Dozen owner, says Thursday he had to make the difficult decision to lay off 15 of his 40 employees. “Many of them had been with us for years,” Kelly said. “We are like family. This company grew so fast over the past 25 years, many of them have been with us for a long time. It was really sad, especially now with holidays coming up, Thanksgiving, Christmas. You saw their kids grow up and people that have been with us for a long time. It’s a sad day and we hope they can find jobs soon or they will be available when we are able to resume Mardi Gras activities.”Kelly said the store will stay open, but a massive amount of product they planned to sell will be stored in their warehouse.“We usually bring in about 8 million pounds of beads. Most of that is here already and will be stored until Mardi Gras resumes in 2022,” Kelly said.WDSU asked Kelly how much money the bead industry will lose because of the pandemic. “About $30 to $40 million, that’s all of the bead companies around the country,” Kelly said. “That’s not just our company, that’s all the companies that provide Mardi Gras. You just have to shake your head and wonder how is this happening. It’s unreal, I never thought I would see it. In today’s world you just never know what’s going to come next. Hopefully God will look down on us, the vaccines will start to take effect and everybody can get back to normal by May, June, July and this country can move forward again.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Orleans parades for Carnival 2021 are canceled, crippling the Mardi Gras bead industry.

Dan Kelly, Beads By The Dozen owner, says Thursday he had to make the difficult decision to lay off 15 of his 40 employees.

“Many of them had been with us for years,” Kelly said. “We are like family. This company grew so fast over the past 25 years, many of them have been with us for a long time. It was really sad, especially now with holidays coming up, Thanksgiving, Christmas. You saw their kids grow up and people that have been with us for a long time. It’s a sad day and we hope they can find jobs soon or they will be available when we are able to resume Mardi Gras activities.”

Kelly said the store will stay open, but a massive amount of product they planned to sell will be stored in their warehouse.

“We usually bring in about 8 million pounds of beads. Most of that is here already and will be stored until Mardi Gras resumes in 2022,” Kelly said.

WDSU asked Kelly how much money the bead industry will lose because of the pandemic.

“About $30 to $40 million, that’s all of the bead companies around the country,” Kelly said. “That’s not just our company, that’s all the companies that provide Mardi Gras. You just have to shake your head and wonder how is this happening. It’s unreal, I never thought I would see it. In today’s world you just never know what’s going to come next. Hopefully God will look down on us, the vaccines will start to take effect and everybody can get back to normal by May, June, July and this country can move forward again.”

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