After coming off of our best-ever month last February, March and COVID hit like a ton of bricks. Our business went from a place where we were starting to see exciting growth and momentum to a screeching halt that left us feeling lost and overwhelmed.
If you’ve been reading my blog or other articles about B&B, you know that I’m a wife and a Mom to Bells and Becks. In March, our lives were turned completely upside down (as they were for families across the world). I had to focus on my family – I became a home-schooling mom, retooled our home to be a place where we could all work and study, planned and cooked every meal, and figured out how were we going to generally subsist together peacefully. It wasn’t easy, but I am so grateful that my family was able to transition to the new normal.
In terms of B&B, I, like so many small business owners, was perplexed by how to proceed (and whether to proceed). What was clear was that no one was going anywhere, and if they were, they definitely weren’t wearing their fancy luxury shoes… The fate of luxury fashion and retail was anyone’s guess.
With Italy already in shutdown mode and the fate of some factories hanging in the balance, we were faced with logistical challenges early. In March, we quickly shut everything down in anticipation that no one would be buying luxury shoes for the foreseeable future. We stopped all work on future development of new shoes, canceled all future orders, and hunkered down for what we assumed would be a long haul of slow/no business. We had to make-due with less — less inventory, less content and photography, no more in person events. Our small but mighty team that supports our business also made-due with less, and this was very difficult for us all. And yet, our partners have stood by us and helped us navigate this very tricky time. We were in this together, supporting each other, and making-due.
2020 was a year that forced us to focus on the fundamentals of our lives and of our business.
As always, I am grateful to you, our amazing customers, who found us during this crazy pandemic year and supported this small business by treating yourself to something that made you feel good and “normal”. As it turns out, shoes that are at the intersection of fashion and function still do have a place. Our easy slip-ons and flats gave you a chance to get out of your sneakers and feel just a bit more put together on a day where you needed and deserved a pick-me-up. It’s because of you that we’ve made it through this very tough year and are still alive and kicking!
So, I like most everyone, am ready to say, “ciao 2020”. Goodbye to a pretty crappy year. I am turning this corner with optimism for better days ahead. I know that we won’t be returning to the old life any time soon, but for now, I am hopeful for so much: good health (grateful for a vaccine with what seems to be miraculous efficacy), continued strength in my relationships (thank you to my amazing husband, partner, and #1 supporter), peace in my family unit (we finally learned how to sit together for a near-pleasant family meal), and continued forward momentum for Bells & Becks.
2021 will bring new shoes (we will have them in Spring!) and a renewed energy around Bells & Becks… because great shoes that make you look and feel good will always have a place in our lives.
Ciao 2020! See you never…