Rebel Heart & Pink Shutter Flood Recovery

Rebel Heart & Pink Shutter Flood Recovery

From Stephanie Lynn Brown

Help single mother Jenny Sebold, whose local storefront was wiped out in the VT floods. She lost everything in this disaster. Without the businesses that took her years to build, she struggles to keep her family afloat.

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On July 11, 2023, the once vibrant downtown of Montpelier, Vermont was flooded by the Winooski River, and hundreds of homes and dozens of local businesses experienced catastrophic damages. Jenny Sebold, a local shop owner and incredible human, experienced devastating losses as her businesses, Rebel Heart and Pink Shutter, a home goods and gift shop and a floral design service center, were destroyed and under water.  She was shocked beyond belief as her life’s work washed away in the flood, and due to lack of electricity and shortage of adjusters and contractors, the damage couldn’t be assessed or addressed promptly.  The foundation, walls, the floor, and all the items that were unable to be retrieved before the waters got too high continued to putrefy as conditions worsened in the building.  No relief funds are coming in because unfortunately FEMA has not been made available to businesses, making survival very challenging.  And shortage of adjusters means delays in getting any sort of reimbursement.

This disaster means nearly everything in the shop needs to be replaced, and this flood has impacted every area of her and her children’s lives.  All her savings has gone towards paying contractors to help with cleaning, water and mold remediation, damage control, finding generators and necessary machinery to try and preserve what’s left of the shop spaces.  Almost 75% of her inventory was lost and that was her only source of income. 

We are hoping to raise $100K to help support Jenny and her family survive these horrific times.  She has been denied unemployment, as she is technically working to repair a shop in ruins, though she is not getting paid, and FEMA has released no word on if they are providing funds to small businesses that were lost in during this unfortunate calamity.  Please support the rebuild of her business, which will include relocating all inventories, and gutting the shop - all sheetrock needs to come down and be replaced and likely the flooring as well. Without electricity, the crew faced a delay in cleanup operations which caused further damage to all tables, desks, and other furnishings. Additionally, their floral fridge needs to be replaced, a crucial piece of equipment for running the floral business.

For the time being, the storefronts of Pink Shutter and Rebel Heart will be closed down. The losses will be high as this is the peak of the city’s summer tourist season when visitors normally flock to the mountains, lakes, and picturesque downtown.  The stress of this mess has caused a detrimental impact on her life, and as bills continue to pile up, with money going out and nothing coming in, Jenny needs our support and the kindness of generosity of community more than ever.

Thank you for being part of this incredible journey, and looking for ways to help Pink Shutter/Rebel Heart and their magnificent shop recover from this terrible flood. We will update you as things unfold.

Rebel Heart has been a fixture of the Montpelier Downtown for 5 years now and features home goods like candles, home linens, women's clothing, basics, new & vintage, denim everything, books, jewelry, and so many other treasures. In 2020 Rebel Heart Purchased Pink Shutter Flowers, a Montpelier fixture for over 50 years, and started offering us some of the most gorgeous houseplants and floral design services in all of Vermont. Rebel Heart is owned by the loving and vibrant Jenny Sebold who has lived in Vermont for over 22 years. Jenny’s biggest joys in life are nourishing and caring for others, and socializing and providing beautiful heartfelt connection to all who enter her shops.  Her kids attended Montpelier Schools and she has seen this community through many hard times as well as many joyous times. This store is a crucial piece of the local economy as the majority of their inventory came from LOCAL artists and businesses. The effects of this disastrous event will be felt by many Vermonters.

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