Changes in Retail
Hey everyone! It's been a hot minute since my last blog update because I've been holding off on this particular announcement until the absolute last minute so I could have more time to think of my action plan.
As you all know COVID kind of came crashing in late March and made a huge impact on small businesses. For those of you who have been following my business since the beginning, you'll have noticed that I geared towards retail shopping more so than my online store. I can honestly admit, as much as I wish I can do it all- I simply cannot which is why (before COVID) I had my online store closed about 70% of the time so I could focus on making product for several shows and keep up with 4 retail locations (in which I paid rent to have the ability to supply there). I have been running my business since November 2015 and have always done it this way. But when COVID came in March, that one thing drastically changed how I had to hustle to keep my business alive so I could still obtain an income while maintaining my bills and ultimately survive through such an unknown obstacle.
Pre-pandemic I had my online store closed while investing thousands of dollars into supplies to create inventory for The One of a Kind Show in Toronto (5 day show)- It was the first time I would have a full booth so I had to prepare; I was creating inventory for the Picks and Giggles Show, Restocking retail locations (and making inventory for that); AND I was preparing for the grand opening of Dreamdays new store in Bowmanville..... I had invested A LOT and was left with A LOT of product to sell in such an unpredictable time for retail. When the news came in that all of these things were cancelled or closed.... my heart sank and I really could only rely on one avenue of income which led me and ultimately forced me to re-open my online store as soon as possible... and honestly, since the re-opening of my online store end of March... I was blown away. I honestly have no words to describe the overwhelming support that has been received since my online re-opening and it really opened my eyes to the importance of keeping this platform for my business.
While retail shops have closed down for unpredictable amounts of time- and WITH the possibility of a "second wave" of COVID (which could close us all back up again after shops begin to re-open)... I have had to make changes on my end that makes sense for the times we are all going through at this time. With all that said, in addition to retail shops it's also important for me to reflect on the "product making/production" aspect of things. In the past I've had friends come over and help me package product (which literally takes longer than it does for me to physically make the product) and I'll be honest, doing 100% everything myself is challenging for the amount of product I have to make in order to keep up. Since COVID - as I work from home, I am still unable to have anyone (who doesn't live in my parents house) in the house to help me. It has been a solid 3 months of solo hustling with the casual help from my sister to pack orders and do some labeling when she's not working on her online courses. Long story short, I am physically and mentally unable to keep all avenues of retail open (online and the current 5 physical retail locations)... I am unable to make enough product to keep up while providing an ample selection and availability... I would be stretching myself more than humanly possible and I just can't which is why I am having to make the following changes.
I want to thank everyone for their understanding and continued support as I navigate through these changes to keep everyone safe, make shopping local convenient and transition (at least for now) mostly online.
Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for your love and support you have shown for my handcrafted business <3 I can't wait to keep making the products you love to enjoy!