Its a challenging time, no two ways about it. The coronavirus is impacting everyone in ways big and small. Life feels very uncertain and a bit scary. My children have all been sent home from school, including the college Junior who had just arrived at his exchange program in Germany. It's odd to consider that across the globe all 7+ billion of us are being experiencing this upheaval at the same time.
As a small business owner, especially one who makes and sells soap, it's felt weird to market or even discuss my business. But like all small businesses, I too have seen impacts from this from decreased sales and cancellations of classes, markets, and conferences. I'm not looking forward to looking at my book keeping (but that's nothing new, it is squarely my least favorite business task). My inbox currently consists of COVID-19 messages from every business I've even thought about, approximately 125 messages from schools about online learning (shout out to all the teachers who are busting their butts. I <3 y'all), and FB notifications that are either dire warnings or hilarious toilet paper memes. Some of y'all know that my previous career was in public health so I have a particular respect for all our public health professionals and front line health care workers. I <3 y'all too.
However, despite all of the doom and gloom I am trying hard to keep everything in perspective and to stay true to my personal and business mission to treat every day as a gift. I've been compiling a list of the ways in which we can try to view this with a glass half-full spirit (and, just to state the obvious, I'm not negating the very real struggles that many people are facing in terms of financial losses or illness). So with that caveat out of the way, my short but hopefully expanding list of positive outcomes.
- No guilt about not going to the gym.
- Long walks and runs which does wonders for stress.
- Having kids home from college (even though I know they'd rather not be here and I wish that for them too).
- My kid who, when I told him I was not up to cooking dinner said, "that's OK, I wanted leftovers".
- An opportunity to tackle long-neglected projects around the house (I'm looking at you, mud room).
- Creative community support for people including hourly workers, elderly, etc.
- Renewed appreciation for workers now considered "essential" including grocery and pharmacy employees.
- Hopefully, a conversation and commitment to healthcare reform and economic protection of vulnerable populations.
- A commitment to support community and small businesses when possible by purchasing goods or gift certificates, chipping in $10 to GoFundMe campaigns, charitable donations to local organizations, etc.
- Folks doing what they can to lift the spirits of others.
- The opportunity to read or be creative in some way.
- The plethora of museums, musicians, etc offering virtual tours, concerts etc.
My business is still open and reasonably well stocked. A reminder for Atlanta-area folks, you can order online and pick from my porch in Decatur. Just put PICKUP in the check out line. I am offering free shipping on bar soap purchases. If you wish to take advantage of the bar soap free shipping, please just have only those products in your order. I can send up to 8 bars in a flat rate padded mailer. I don't have the financial ability to offer free shipping on everything since some products such as candles are bulky and fragile.
Please support small businesses. They are being hit really hard. It doesn't have to be mine, just do your part. If you utilize the services of independent providers such as house cleaners, dog walkers, hair stylists, yard maintenance etc and have the ability to continue to pay them for not working, please consider this. Many of these workers are not eligible for unemployment or paid leave and may be forced to choose between paying their bills and staying healthy. If you aren't in a position to do this, it's OK. You can write a review, share a social media post, forward an email, or just drop them a note of encouragement.
Stay at home, wash your hands, turn off the news, and stay well.
All the best,