Afrotouch Design: Our thoughts during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Posted on 25 March 2020
I woke up on the 1st January full of hope and excitement for the year ahead. 2020 was going to be the start of operation 20:20 where I had plans to onboard 20 new independent retail stores by the end of the year. I set about putting plans in place, but little did we know 8 weeks into those plans things would take an unprecedented turn – COVID 19 was having a devastating impact globally and the UK was not immune to that impact.
I, probably like many, didn’t think things would be that bad, but as I watched the news unfold, as I listened to the increasing number of people being infected by this virus and the rising number of deaths, I quickly began to realise the seriousness of this pandemic on individual health but also the effect on our society and economy.
As I write these words, businesses are closing without knowing when they may re-open, jobs are at risk every day, and we are in a space of complete uncertainty. Children are settling into the realisation that they will not be returning to school for some time and as a parent of 3 young children, I am trying to work out what that means to our household, to our business, to our careers but also our sanity.
I discussed in a recent Forbes article that we will be putting a flexible plan in place to ensure our children are educated but also have the opportunity to be children and have fun. The organisation I work for has been supportive of their associates and I am in constant dialogue with my manager in terms of work objectives and expectations during this time. We have a family-first philosophy, which is one of the reasons I continue to work for my organisation. At times like this, it’s important to have open and honest conversations with your managers about what you can offer at this time.
I’m lucky in a sense that Afrotouch Design is an online business and I can continue to keep the store open. I am anticipating that delivery times are likely to be prolonged during this time and sadly this may have an impact on the level of customer service that I am wanting to offer. I may also have delays from my suppliers, which means that some products may not be restocked once they are sold out.
So what do I plan to do during this time? Well, I’ve decided to use this time to plan for the future, for the time when we are on top of and beyond this virus. I will continue to increase brand awareness through our social media platforms and look at alternative revenue streams outside of wholesale and events. I will continue to run the business around my work and family schedule, fully in the knowledge that my health and my family take priority.
At times like this, it is an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what is working well and what needs to change. It feels like the universe is putting us on pause for a reason and I also believe that we will come through to the other side a much more empathetic and united world.
Look after your health, be considerate of the health of others and most importantly be kind to others and yourself.
Stay well and best wishes