Weaving Through This Time Together
by Reese Fernandez-Ruiz on Mar 14, 2020
We hope all is well with you and that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy!
As a business that aims to create positive impact in our communities, our top priority is to take care of the health of our team, artisans, and advocates. And at the same time, we also take the responsibility of "staying in business" very seriously.
Here are some of the things we are implementing to ensure the health and safety of our team, artisans, and advocates:
- We have implemented work-from-home and remote work measures when possible. It has been a practice of ours ever since.
- We are sanitizing our workshop, office, and store twice a day.
- For our workshop artisans who produce our products and store ambassadors who sell them in our stores, we have implemented safety measures to prevent infection.
- We have shared reliable and actionable information to our team and artisans about COVID-19. We've discussed details like how to help prevent the spread of the virus and what we can do to aid the most vulnerable members of society.
- We have also planned for the scenario where our artisans and store ambassadors have to work remotely. This is the most challenging scenario for us. Still, we have started mapping out how this could look like and how we can maintain the livelihood of every single one of our artisans and team members.
And as we take care of the health of our team, artisans, and advocates, we are also taking care of the company that makes this possible. Here are some of the things we are doing to make sure that life and livelihood go on:
- We are creating designs that the artisans can make and may need at this time. We'll be sharing them on social media soon!
- We are opening more slots for pre-orders of our pieces.
- We'll be continuing to ship out your orders but only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.
- The R2R HQ & showroom will still be open during weekdays, but we'll be closed on Saturdays starting tomorrow, March 14, 2020.
- We are launching our Summer 2020 collection online soon! We are quite excited about this collection as it merges textures and materials into bags and clothes that can transform in so many ways. One of the bags our designer Christian Cera has designed has 8 (yes, 8!) configurations!
- We are focusing our efforts on our online store and international stockists and partners.
- We are creating ways to serve our advocates (you!) in the best possible ways while keeping our team safe and healthy.
We remain grateful for advocates like you who have sustained us. We would not have made it here without you. We know that through your help, we'll also make it through this challenge and continue creating positive impact in our communities.
And on a more personal note...
More than just supporting us, I hope you can also rally behind other local businesses or social enterprises.
During this challenging and unpredictable time when COVID-19 is spreading fast, it is crucial to keep ourselves healthy, wash our hands, and support the most vulnerable members of our society. The most vulnerable are not just the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.
The most vulnerable are also our health workers, front-liners, servers, security guards, drivers, helpers, the people who don't earn when they don't work, and those are from poor communities with limited access to health care services and information.
The young, healthy, and relatively financially secure may survive this, and even use this time to reflect on life, binge on shows, work from home (because we have laptops and Wi-Fi), and not go hungry.
But many will go hungry.
A lot of businesses will close, pause, and cut costs. Many may lose their jobs or tighten belts that are already so tight to begin with. So while we take care of ourselves and our health, avoid crowds, and wash our hands, I have one more request.
Please be intentional about supporting local businesses.
Some businesses do not have a lot of cash reserves to weather this kind of storm. Some are just keeping things together for the sake of their employees. Each time you promote a local business, you give them a fighting chance to stay in business and support their people.
Thank you for the love, advocates! And we hope you can spread the word and share the love with other enterprises as well!
Weaving joyful stories,
Reese Fernandez-Ruiz (with our team & artisans!)
President & Co-founder of R2R
Founder & Curator of Things That Matter