Faces of Unemployment: LaPorte woman starts business after being laid off during pandemic

From unemployed to self-employed
Posted at 3:44 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 15:51:21-05

The Coronavirus Pandemic thrust hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers off the job and into the unemployment line. Now, one year since the pandemic began, many are still struggling to get their unemployment benefits or find their next job. The "Faces of Unemployment" project is our commitment to you to tell the stories of troubles and success.

When Shelby Crawford was laid off from her job as an administrative assistant, she traded in her desk job for a kitchen.

“In March 2020 I lost my job when the pandemic started,” said Crawford “I loved where I worked and thankfully, I had no problem signing up for unemployment and that helped me pay my bills.”

She said she was scrolling Facebook and saw a utility trailer for sale, she said she jokingly sent it to her husband saying they should make it a food truck.

“We thought about it for two weeks and he said you know we could actually build a food trailer; we could do that and that can be your new career,” said Crawford

So, they took the plunge and bought a large trailer.

“We actually transformed it into a full mobile food unit, and we got our license and it's fully workable now we bought the trailer in April it took us four months to build it and complete it, and then we started upgrading it on Labor Day 2020,” said Crawford.

That’s how Mrs. Crawford’s Cruising Kitchen was made she said the food truck was a family affair to start, her husband, her mom, and her mother-in-law all helped to get things rolling.

Now planning to fire up her kitchen again on March 26 with two employees Crawford can’t believe this wild dream is now a reality.

“I have a saying kind of for myself that it doesn't have to be logical to be possible... that kind of just means even if it doesn't 100% add up or even if you don't even think it's possible if you have a dedication, motivation to accomplish something you can really accomplish anything”

She says they plan to start scooting around La Porte again by the end of the month, you can find where she’ll be on her Facebook page.