When Hemp Shak owner Katy Hemler came to her San Luis Obispo store Monday morning, she knew something was wrong.
"I looked in the door and I could tell things were already missing," she said Wednesday. "And when I walked in so much was gone."
Hemler estimates $50,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from the store overnight.
Part of downtown San Luis Obispo for 25 years, Hemp Shak sells eco-friendly clothing, locally made CBD (cannabidiol) products, local art, records, and jewelry.
Hemler says the business has been struggling to push through amid economic problems from the coronavirus pandemic. Because of that, she's had to choose what to pay for.
"I wasn't able to pay my insurance," she said. "So when I walked through the door (Monday morning), I knew that... it was going to be hard."
A GoFundMe with a goal of $40,000 has been set up to help cover the cost of the stolen merchandise.
The response from the community and other businesses has overwhelmed Hemler.
"Everybody’s been contacting me, even my neighbors, business owners that I’m friends with all asking what can we do, how can we support you," she said. "I just feel grateful for all of the people in such a small community that have already tried to come and reach out and help. It fills my heart."
Hemler plans to reopen the store in the coming days.
"We've come this far and we need to keep pushing," she said.