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Answering your FAQs about our break

Mary Alice Duff

Posted on October 26 2020

Hello all!

Answering your FAQs about our scheduled long break for the year. 

What’s happening?

We’re taking a BIG PAUSE this year to finish up all orders in our queue, re-evaluate our product offerings and business model, and start fresh in early 2021. The last day to place orders in our online store for the remainder of the year will be Monday October 26th. All of our made-to-order products will be marked as “sold out” starting Tuesday October 27th and orders will not be able to be placed for these items after this Monday. 

Why is this happening?

The disruption to our international supply chain and our own studio closure due to Covid has been absolutely devastating to our small business. While our customers have been so patient and incredible, we can’t deny that a 12 week waiting period for a garment is just too long. Furthermore many of our suppliers don’t even have dates for when they expect certain things to be back in stock (our cerulean blue dye for instance is experiencing a worldwide shortage with no replacement date in sight). We’ve reached a point where we have to ask ourselves, does it make sense to continue to limp along, putting out fire after fire, when there must be a simpler, less complicated way we can do business while still delivering the exceptional quality, design and fit we’re known for. Each year, December and January are very slow months for us, so this year, we are going to extend that time  to use it to completely reimagine our business. I wholeheartedly believe in what we do and why we do it, but I think the HOW we do it can stand to change.

Why such an early cutoff this year?

Typically we cut off orders right after Thanksgiving which causes the team to work right up until 12/23 and clocking in tons of overtime hours in the process. We’ve decided to up the cutoff to Monday, October 26th, to give our team a cool 6 weeks to get everything out the door by mid-December. That gives us time both before and after the holiday break to explore our options for reimagining our business in 2021.

Can I still order on Monday?

Yes, orders will be accepted through Monday 10/26 until 11:59pm EST. On Tuesday October 27th, all made-to-order items in our store will be marked as “sold out”. We plan to have a small online sample sale and fabric remnant clearout in early to mid November.

Will you have anything for sale past that date of 10/26?

Yes, a handful of sample sale items, fabric remnants, and gift giving items like scarves, tote bags and art prints.

What styles aren’t coming back?

Great question! But unfortunately I do not have an answer. Disappointing, I know. Part of our process this winter will be to critically evaluate every design we’ve ever made and sold at Alice Alexander. We’ll be analyzing how well (or not well) it’s sold, rate of returns for that piece, sizes sold, price point and profit margin. We’ll then use all that data to determine what stays and what goes.

When will you have a date for your return in 2021?

Hopefully by mid-January we’ll have more details to share including a reopening date for when garments will be available.

What can you tell us about the future of Alice Alexander?

Making this decision to take a break and critically re-evaluate our business model at Alice Alexander is the first time in 9 months I’ve been really excited about our future. As I said, I wholeheartedly believe in the why behind what we do at Alice Alexander: creating incredibly well-made, well-designed pieces for diverse bodies so that any and everyone can use responsible fashion as a means for self-expression. But when you’re a small business owner operating during a pandemic all that joy, it  just goes out the window. Everyday is another problem to solve, money to find, fires to put out and the longer you stay in the weeds the harder and harder it becomes to remember the WHY behind what you do. The daily stress, the constant day in and day out completely overshadows all the joy (not to mention simultaneously homeschooling a 6 year old--trust me folks, it’s not fun!)

We’ve built an INCREDIBLE team at Alice Alexander, sincerely, the thing that has me leaping out of bed in the morning is these folks--knowing how hard they work, how deeply they believe in what we do, the joy and light they bring to the everyday, their immense talent--without them I would have shut this thing down 9 months ago. And it’s because of them, it’s because of US, that I owe this pause. I owe it to what we’ve built over the past three years to take a beat and figure out the best possible way forward. For us and for you.

So to answer that question, what I can tell you about the future of Alice Alexander is this: we will come back, better and stronger than before. We may have fewer offerings, but they will be the absolute best products, at the best value, we can possibly offer. We’ll be better equipped to meet folks who never considered investing in a better made wardrobe to take the plunge and buy that silk blouse they deserve. We’ll be more profitable, and be better able to invest in the causes we care about. We’ll be more efficient, and better leveraging tech to make the entire customer experience from consideration, to purchase, to return more seamless and easier than before.

I am excited about the future of Alice Alexander, our team is excited about the future, and I hope with a little bit of time, you’ll be excited too. 

With all that being said--if there's something you've had your heart set on at Alice Alexander, it's the last weekend to order. We are accepting orders on payment plans as well! Thank you for your continued support and your faith in our small business. 

Cheers!

XO,

Mary Alice



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