How are you doing? How’s life? Your new reality?
Just weeks ago Abi and I talked about doing a refreshed Behind the Brand blog post, given that we’ve been in business for just over a year. We figured we’d be sharing with you our ongoing commitment to working with ocean friendly fabrics to bring you a wider range of reusable, everyday eco bag options. We’d been listening to your great feedback - a bigger beach style bag please, perhaps some suitcase packing storage zipper bags? - and had plans to increase the range. We were excited to be looking at new colours, different fabric weights - made from the same recycled fishing nets, nylon waste and plastic bottles. And, we were thrilled to be taking part in @theconsciousspace - a market place packed full of pioneering eco brands, and @theoceanloversfestival - Bondi’s celebration of ocean conservation.
That was early March. We all know how life has changed since. Many of our plans are on hold, and of course, many have been cancelled. But, with us all craving a little human interaction we thought now - more than ever - seemed the right time to get personal and share more of ourselves with you.
Pre Covid-19, Abi and I would spend three days a week together developing ideas, dealing with orders, marketing The Other Bag and shooting the content that makes it to our website and social media. Outside of those precious days we’d juggle the business between parenting and home life. It’s a juggle we delight in and thrive on.
As it stands we’ve been working separately, home schooling our kids, with husbands working from home for about a month now. It’s an interesting time - we’re getting better at dividing our work load, focusing on things individually and then coming together to chat through things. To be honest, it’s probably made us more efficient!
We have to be! We’re forever looking to fill days with different home centred activities for our kids. They take most of our attention, they miss their friends and life outside of lockdown. And with our homes bursting with activities and emotions the juggle between work and family life - as so many of us have shared on social media - has been ever more demanding.
We’ve come to make our own demands too - “This is our work time kids. I’m talking to Abi. Read, play, but just give us half an hour!”
But we’re lucky. We’re safe in our homes, we have access to amazing health care, and we’re healthy. And we have a business that we’re passionate about, and that our customers still love. We’re thankful that our postal system is still running, and we’re able to get out our orders to everyone who is still able to buy.
We’re taking hope from the positives that are appearing through this pandemic's huge toll of tragedies too. The environment - resting and healing as the world is on pause. With global and local travel and decreased manufacturing significantly cutting pollution and emissions rates. Of course, it’s not the way we would have hoped to have cut them, but it’s a positive that mass action does have an effect, like the return of wildlife to some areas, and the benefits of clean air - the Himalayan mountain range visible to Punjab villages that hadn’t seen them in 20 years because of reduced air pollution.
Like so many others we’re pivoting our focus to make good of these uncertain times. For us, there’s a long list of things that we have threatened to learn more about that we’re now absorbing ourselves in - Facebook advertising, SEO, pinterest marketing, getting a new accountant. By flipping our attention to these things we hope to come out a better business, post Covid-19. As @iamlaurawells said , “Keep sane and educated.” Some days, admittedly, we’re better at it than others.
While we’re not where we thought we’d be this year, we’re still very grateful to be able to bring you an eco business that we’re passionate about - still committed to using recycled fabrics that have a positive impact on our oceans. So thanks for supporting us on our journey so far and for your support in these uncertain times.
We couldn’t end this post without saying thank you to those for whom working from home isn’t an option. The healthcare professionals, posties, teachers, public transport workers, shop staff and all of those who have to put themselves at risk. We realise the privileged position we have as a business that can work from home. And we’re hugely respectful for those who can’t have that choice.
Claire & Abi xx