COVID-19 Related Struggles
After a year of struggling through the pandemic, it's no secret a lot of small businesses are having a difficult time. In this article we'd like to just address some of the issues we've encountered to keep it honest with you guys.
One of the big things you may have noticed on our website since the start of the pandemic are the pre-purchase items. Let's address these first; There is two aspects to this, dry-ups on wholesaler stocks as well as delays we've faced from companies that produce the products for us. Most of our items we first source plain from wholesaler websites in big amounts and then get those shipped out to a printing/embroidery company. The dry-ups pretty much mean much less stock availability on those websites, making us then having to wait on getting more items in, making it impossible to keep a full inventory the same way we had up to the pandemic especially with the way we have to budget being still a small brand. Those delays paired with longer production times are why we ended up having to introduce pre-purchases. Production times back before the pandemic used to be 2/3 days most of the time, now it takes weeks with no accurate date given first. Now, we completely understand that those companies are also going through difficult times themselves, but that is why in order to keep our business going we needed to introduce these temporarily, until stock numbers get better again and production times go back to normal.
Another thing has been postage issues. With postage companies also struggling in their own ways, we have noticed weird postage length extensions all throughout 2020. We have actively been trying to keep in touch with our local Royal Mail post office that processes our orders in regards to these issues but that would obviously still not solve them. We will continue keeping you guys updated as much as possible, wether that's through social media posts, blog posts on here or in replies to your emails and messages.
Now, something that affected us in particular, was the recent firing of the customer service person we hired during last summer. This had the biggest impact on us as the person ended up actually not replying to huge amounts of customers at all and would disregard others. It's a horrible thing in itself but in a time where we need to stay in touch with customers even more so than ever, it ended up with a lot of customers actually thinking they were never going to receive their items and that spiralled into bad reviews. We'd like to again, sincerely apologise about this entire situation, we've since actively been trying to chase customers that may have been missed and have offered refunds where due. If you're someone who you think was affected by this situation (from mid 2020 until roughly December) please do not hesitate to reach out now for us to get this sorted for you ASAP whether that's through a refund or getting your item to you ASAP.
The live music scene and club / event nights are also something we consider as big part of our brand and pre- pandemic we've sold at an event and had more upcoming ones planned, which of course fell through. Now, these would have of course been an amazing way to say hello to some of you in person and to expand further as a brand but these had to also be put on hold for the time being & we will eagerly look forward to the next event that we will be able to be a part of.
Lastly, keeping in mind that this brand has been started in April 2019 and it's only two people running it, we're both still self employed and are in the transitioning stages of it all, making it impossible to get any kind of government help during this crisis as neither of us have got 2 years of taxes behind us working self employed, which is the requirement for self employment covid support.
We hope everyone is staying as safe as possible and we can't wait for things to one day go back to what we all consider as normal.
-Much Love, Your H&S Team, Jodie & Artur.