The wave of corona crashed like a tsunami, but unlike a tsunami it shows no signs of stopping, it continues tearing through our lives. The world we see now is very very different from the world we are used to, found comfort in and have taken for granted. A lot of things we could never think of then have now become the new normal. The feeling of going through pandemic is very familiar, it’s a lot of different emotions and it feels like different stages of coping with grief.
The stage 1 – Denial and concern
It started out with the denial and we didn’t want to believe it. It was not declared as pandemic then and hadn’t spread all over. Being a small and new brand we are used to the ups and downs – few sales some months, no sales some other months, some sales channel work while others not so much. We accept this gracefully and see it as an opportunity to establish ourselves as a brand. We are in the beginning of our journey, we are still experimenting, learning and trying, and our size and age means we can do all of this while remaining humble and true to our values – no compromises.
It did not affect the made-to-order requests we cater for small boutiques and retails which is our primary sales channel (Are you a small boutique? Looking for slow fashion brand which is passionate about handmade classics made from natural fibers? Find us in Faire, Creoate, Boutsy, Orderchamp), our partners were still operational in Nepal and they still had stock of raw materials. We had a couple of these orders in the pipeline and were not concerned – business as usual.
The virus showed no signs of slowing down, the initial disbelief and denial quickly turned into concern about well-being and livelihood for us, our families, and people all over the world. It was clear that the pandemic would have a huge impact on small businesses like us and our partners in Nepal. We are in constant touch with our partners in Nepal and are still committed to the orders that were in pipeline, this might be a small gesture, but we wanted to and continue to support them in every way we can.
The stage 2 – Fear and anger
The fear set in and we were questioning if there would even be a future for our business, can and should we continue? Is there even a point of doing anything? There is a lot of work beside fulfilling orders - changes in the storefront, blog posts, social media engagement, marketing, looking for collaborations and new sales channels, new product ideas, it’s a constant work, should we continue doing it? We simply did not know when we would be able to fulfill a made-to-order anytime soon as Nepal was and still is in complete lock down, and this is our bread and butter, what do we do? Would buyers wait?
Fear turned into anger. Although we have a really strong faith in our brand – what it represents and all the good it can do we had to question its existence. Perhaps we will succeed as a brand or we won’t, but if we close down now we for sure will never know. Why was this happening now? Why are we so helpless? The world around us was unraveling and changing in unrecognizable ways. This was very hard to take as it would not be fair on the brand as we are just in the beginning of our journey.
The stage 3 – Acceptance and hope
Finally the acceptance set it. It is very weird to say that despite the difficult times we all are going through currently, it’s not all gloom and doom, there are positives and the courage shown by amazing people and businesses to jump in with everything is something to be celebrated. Realizing that this pandemic is everyone’s problem, the solidarity shown and the work we keep on doing to try and beat this pandemic together is commendable. We will be successful and come out of it better and stronger than before. This is a lesson, a harsh one but an important one that we if we all work together we can tackle some of the biggest issues plaguing this world.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, there is hope and we will do everything that we can to continue our journey!