KITCHENER -- Two Waterloo Region businesses have found ways to adjust to the online-centric world of business during the COVID-19 pandemic and are now doing better than they ever have.

The Sew Rustic in New Dundee and The Kitchener Academy of Music have both taken advantage of online sales and marketing in order to continue operating.

Sarah Tielman, the owner of the soy candle company, sold her candles in stores big and small before the pandemic.

With the latest shutdown, she says she’s focusing all her energy on social media.

“I basically marketed my items through their channel,” said Tielman. “I really dove into everything social media, everything, and got out of my comfort zone.”

She adds that partnering with other local businesses that have made the move online has kept her busy.

Along with building her social media presence, she has seen her sales increase roughly 350 per cent over the course of the pandemic.

Kandice Kreutner opened the Kitchener Academy of Music in January 2020, and had to shut down 60 days later. They then switched the tempo up and went to virtual lessons.

“I had a video made to show the parents this is how you get on, this is how you find your links, and things kind of evolved over time,” she said.

Kreutner adds that one of the biggest bonuses to the switch online has been that more people have had more access to the lessons, as they’re connecting with students across Waterloo Region and Ontario.

When they first opened in 2020, they had 50 students, and now that they’ve gone online they have almost 120.

Kreutner is focusing on virtual summer camps going forward, while Tielman says her focus is now on socializing and interacting on social media.