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How we're managing during a pandemic

Mary Alice Duff

Posted on March 16 2020

EDITED AND UPDATED 3/20/20

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Hi folks--this is an ever-changing situation and I am writing to provide an update. The city of Philadelphia and the state of PA has ordered all non-essential businesses to close, including ours. In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 our team is not permitted to return to work. We are doing our best to work from home but our ability to do so is severely limited as we don't have the equipment or materials we need. Additionally, the fabric warehouses and mills that we work with are also closed. For the time being production of open orders is on hold. If you have an open order an email with details pertaining to your exact order will be arriving shortly (if it hasn't already). 

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Wow, that is not a blog post title I'd ever thought I'd have to write. In fact, typing it just now feels incredibly surreal, but here we are. 

I am writing this blog post to share what's happening with our small business in the wake of COVID-19.

Anyone familiar with the retail calendar knows that we've just emerged from the typical slow part of the year (January/ February) and are now entering our busy season. Any cash reserves we had were used during those slow times to keep our business humming. In addition, we've just signed a lease for a new studio and will need to move forward with that commitment. In order for our small business to weather this storm we'll continue to operate our production studio at a reduced, yet still functioning, capacity. Here are the steps we're taking to maintain staff and community safety:

  • Maintaining distance between staff members. There are three of us working in 1,500 square feet. The space is well ventalitated with fresh air. We plan to maintain ample space between our work stations and stagger our work schedules so that we're not often in the same space at the same time. Any work that can be done from home will be done from home (inventory, customer support, team meetings etc.). As the three of us juggle new space, schedules and roles please be patient with us.
  • All staff have paid sick time in the event they need to use it. We encourage our staff to stay home if they are unwell.
  • Frequent hand washing and regular wiping down of extremely limited shared equipment throughout the day.  Disinfecting the entire studio each evening and morning.
  • Upon garment completion, garments are steamed and then wrapped in their packaging. Packaging is wiped down prior to shipment.
  • Our studio is closed to visitors for the foreseeable future.

We are not yet clear on how this pandemic will affect our supply levels as we source materials from around the globe. We are currently awaiting fabric shipments which may be delayed due to worldwide shortages. We will keep our customers posted.

Per the CDCs most recent recommendation of canceling all events in the next 8 weeks of 50 or more people we're postponing our Slow for All event scheduled for the weekend of May 16th and 17th. We've invested significant time in the creation of this event, and it pains us to have to put this on hold, but it's the right thing to do for the safety of our community and others. We will be in touch shortly with ticket holders and vendors.

I keep asking myself whether we will make it through this and I'm met with a resounding yes. We're a strong, scrappy, and committed bunch and we'll do whatever it takes to be here in the future.

All that being said, we ARE accepting orders! If your own personal financial situation is in no way impacted by this pandemic we'd love it if you'd continue to support us financially by placing an order with us.

Our payment plans are an excellent tool for this very purpose as they give us additional time to get your order together (payment plans can be as long as 8 weeks with as little as 25% down) so in the event our city is quarantined or supplies are delayed we have that extra cushion of time.  Purchasing a gift card for future use is also an excellent way to support us, and any small business in fact, in this challenging time.

I'm hopeful that together we'll emerge from this crisis stronger than before. Here's wishing you and yours safety, wellness and peace.

XO,

Mary Alice 

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