Longing to go outside

Longing to go outside

Earlier this week, I asked you all how you were doing out there.

Well, I am hoping that you have made it to the end of the week with good health, physically and mentally. I guess the good thing is you have reached the second month of the year.

Whilst many of us continue to stay indoors, we see the changes that has happened to our buying habits. Research has shown, many of us are shopping locally, mindfully, digitally and cost-consciously for so many different reasons.

Our shopping habits have changed dramatically, since the world went on pause. Back in August, last year I read a piece by Accenture.com that Fifty-six percent of consumers are shopping closer to home buying more locally sourced products.

You are actively supporting local stores or national products or as a quest for authentic and artisan products. Sixty-one percent of consumers are making more environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical purchases, with the many likely to continue with these behaviours. Even when shops opened after the previous lockdown retail footfall remained low. Consumer confidence is low. Although as the days become brighter there will be more hopeful signs of uplift because I am sure we all want to be back out there to welcome in the spring.

For those of us shielding whilst running our small business there is that great challenge and question, “do we will need to wait a little longer?” then gently dip our toes out there to make sure that we will be safe even if some of us decide to take the vaccine. It will be almost a year since I started shielding and strange to think how things will be when I get to go back out there.

Many small business, mainly build from connecting with you the customer in our local area and yes, I miss being at the market having those face to face conversation with my local community and visitors to the area about our products. That experience is now online, minus the face contact.

I am still making the products from home, that’s the advantage of being a designer-maker, customers can get products more personalised to their needs and I am super happy to see you all still connecting through social media. My days have become filled with new challenges because I started a programme some weeks ago that will stretch me for the business to move to the next stage. This new chapter will create an impact out there because business is not just about making a profit but one that can elevate others to make an impact in their lives.

This year the focus will need to be about more collaboration with other labels that complement Kin and Cloth. If you are here reading this and would like to link up with the founder then do get in touch. I will be knocking on some new doors this year and strengthening my relationships with those of you already connected.

The time in lockdown has been about taking advantage of the here and now and building a change for the future and whatever the outcome at least I can say that I tried. Make a life so that you don’t need to look in the mirror and say woulda, coulda, shoulda but one that you can look back on and say you did your very best. Your very best will mean making some sacrifices, but it will be worth it for the long track ahead of you.