Well ... what can I say! From a personal point of view, I'm very glad to be seeing the back of 2020 ... the anxiety, the loneliness, the uncertainty ...
However, for the business it's been a slightly different perspective, not all good, but also not all bad.
When lockdown 1.0 happened back in March, it felt like my world feel apart. Orders dried up over night, and the fear of having no income for the foreseeable future sent me into a head spin, I was one of those people who fell through the cracks for financial help. There was no choice, I had to find a way to make it work.
Then, overnight, everyone and their dog seemed to discover online shopping! The website went crazy, resulting in long days, 7 days a week, to juggle keeping up with orders whilst home-schooling my kids.
Then ... I had another dilemma to deal with, my supplier closed without warning, I started selling out of stock. To solve this, I needed to pivot, I needed new suppliers. I hunted them down and I am forever grateful for their help and speediness!
Then the next challenge ... the postal service! I had to cancel all international orders, as they just weren't getting through the other side. Couriers tripled (at least) their prices. In the UK, 2nd class mail was taking a week, if not more, customers were starting to get restless, especially those who weren't used to shopping online. To deal with this everything got upgraded to 1st Class, to give it a chance!
As a business, this busy-ness was wonderful, but not sustainable. I was also getting behind on all the new designs that I'd planned to create and release; there just weren't enough hours in the day to get all The Things done! Therefore, once I switched off for Christmas, this resulted in some good old fashioned time for reflection, a bit of research and some pivoting, has resulted is some changes coming this way in 2021!
I'm excited about what next year holds, not just the thought of a vaccine (HUGE hooray to those VERY clever scientists), but to feel like I'm pulling some silver linings from 2020, and ensuring it wasn't a total waste of a year!
So, what is this going to look like for you ...
- Due to me wanting to ensure a reliable supply going forward, I will be changing suppliers, so there will be a change in the tops that I use, meaning changes in colours and size options
- I'm getting some help! Whilst having a full order book is amazing, it's also exhausting when you're on your own! Therefore, in 2021 I am going to be getting some printing help from a wonderful, UK based, family business. I will be using them to make and despatch part of my design portfolio
- New designs! Better later than never! Bringing in outside help means more time for me to create new designs, and also develop some new products ... this is what I'm most excited by!
- Shift to some more adult items - another plus point for bringing in help, means that I can properly launch a full adults range, probably my most frequently received request
- Slowing down - this one is for me. I've always prided myself on a fast turnaround on orders, but this has at times been to my detriment. A personal reflection of 2020, has meant I need to ensure C&B works for me. That means turnaround times are going to be extended ever so slightly. There will always be the 'Ready to Ship' section which will be a next day despatch for any Urgent orders!
So there we go! I'm looking forward to what all this newness is going to look like, I hope you'll stick around for the ride!
Wishing all of my wonderful customers a very happy new year, and a healthy 2021.