It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried. Truth is, I am distraught about so many things right now, including what the future holds for our small company.
Every day we are confronted by constant turns of events that bring new challenges. My husband and I, having to decide whether to continue production work amidst community quarantine that excludes manufacturing businesses and then suddenly, an imposed enhanced community quarantine is set shortly after, leaving us scrambling before we could even decide and carry out logical course of actions.
I know that many other industries are affected as well, some worse than others as everything grinds to a sudden halt in the face of the pandemic, COVID19. And while this current situation is a difficult time for us, I know our hardships pales in comparison to the front liners who risk their lives every day for everyone. But I would like to talk about the industry and community that is closest to my heart: our local fashion industry.
This little space in the world that we occupy does not carry the same weight as industries that provide society with fundamental needs like food, medicine and other essential utilities. Frankly, it has been a struggle for me to figure out how to continue to encourage business at a time like this. When the idea of promoting products that are non-essential, may seem frivolous and out of touch.
For someone who plans an entire calendar year ahead of time, all this uncertainty scares me. There are challenges that I have never faced before, like how do I support employees who can’t work from home? How does our company continue to provide for our employees, when there is no income coming in. And if we do eventually start working again, will people actually show up for custom dresses? Will they visit our store and purchase occasion wear? Will there even be occasions to wear these pieces to begin with. How long will this last? And if it ends, will business pick up?
“I’d like to think that despite the darkness that looms over the current state of the world, that fashion plays a necessary role in our healing. The beauty and light that it brings to people is in many ways as essential as it is magical.”
I have been constantly messaging my friends in the industry. All of us trying to help each other out and make sense of the situation. My small team and I, communicating often to try and address all these challenges as best we can. But there is only so much that we can do. Unlike most international fashion industries, most of us are self -funded and aren’t backed up by investors or conglomerates so our cash flow and resources are limited and financial aid options from government for small businesses have not been clearly defined.
These are unprecedented times. So how do we survive this?
I’d like to think that despite the darkness that looms over the current state of the world, that fashion plays a necessary role in our healing. The beauty and light that it brings to people is in many ways as essential as it is magical. I hope that people come back to us, if not for necessity but for the simple reason that, they want to feel good. To feel beautiful, to celebrate life.
At the moment, we are still figuring out how and when to start operating again. And we are hoping that when we finally do, we will be able to inspire you to dress up again. We hope that our work inspires your support, because by choosing to dress up in beautiful clothes you also choose to provide work for our team.
So, when all this is over, I ask everyone, to choose local. Not just in relation to fashion but all things local. Small and larger businesses alike are all affected by this crisis and it is now more than ever that we are counting on your support to survive. I am confident that we will get through this together because I know that we are a community where kindness abound and mutual success is celebrated.
In the meantime, while our doors remain closed, we would like to continue to share with you stories that we hope inspire you. Images of creativity, love and craftsmanship through our blog: #VROPENHOUSE.
I cannot wait to design and dress you up again soon.
Stay strong. Stay safe.