Just like many, our world had turned upside down this month (there's a light at the end of the tunnel, promise - keep reading). I hate to admit that COVID-19 and the turmoil it's caused on our lives shut me down for about one week.
I couldn't believe that I had just announced (around end of February) that our company was going national mid this year. Between March through June, we put $10k on the line so we could do so and serve more people throughout the nation while creating and improving our products to better serve people and the planet. I watched all those plans crumble one by one, dreading to read email after email. For a few days, I couldn't help but think - is this going to be the end of Roses and Azalea?
For around a week while I was down, I witnessed people in my life contributing and assisting medical facilities and providing a helping hand to those who need it, while showing strength and courage despite all the chaos in their own lives. There's different groups of people coming together to make face masks for healthcare professional - our true heroes right now. Distilleries started providing medical facilities their alcohol since sanitizing supplies are limited. Many marketing professionals offered free, short consultations to small businesses owners to help them get back on their feet quickly. Groups of people came together to aid folks laid off by restaurants and bars. Places provided meals to kids and families who would otherwise struggle putting food on their tables. Little by little, that strength and courage started pouring into me until I was ready to stand up again.
My mindset shifted last Friday, right in time for our virtual celebration of RA's 1st birthday this past Monday (Thank you everyone for celebrating it with us virtually!). Since last Wednesday, I was called into many virtual meetings with small business owners from all over the national who also needed to pivot during these times. It solidified that so much good going on despite all the bad. I was determined then to lead by example - strength, courage, the ability to adapt quickly, continue to give a helping hand where it's needed the most.
I can only get more and more Depressed if I focused on everything I've lost so far - professionally and personally - and all the negative chatter and the arguments and divisions over the pandemic and politics. Instead, I choose to focus on the very present and the future - all the good that's come out of this experience and the impact I can make with our company.
My vision (and God's) for RA has never changed. I founded Roses and Azalea to impact as many lives as possible, to bridge the gap between beauty industry and health and wellness industries, and to formulate and put out products that truly nourish and heal bodies. While it is important to make sure I can put food on my own family's table, I did not build this company out of greed. I am a visionary who believes in balancing profit with good - good for people, good for our planet. And during this time, more than ever, I would like to push our company to grow rapidly online so we can expand and create more job for the local economy and provide income subsidies to people nationally.
We rely on you. Our company has always asked for guidance in which products to focus on. Our customers have been delighted to give us feedback on both positives and constructive criticism so we can improve quickly. I am so grateful of this. So here it is again - our company obviously has to pivot. Read some of the action steps you can take help out our small business:
I can't believe it is the very last few hours of 2019! And what a holiday season it has been.
I have been sitting in front of my laptop in our living room, (trying to watch some Hallmark Christmas movies on Amazon Prime and failing since it won't load properly) reflecting on this past year.
First the good. This holiday season has been incredible. Cory and I never imagined the support you've shown us from the 13 pop up markets and shops (some several days long) we were at between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. I showed up to pop ups almost every single day and didn't get sick until literally two days ago, wayyyy afterwards.
Thank you SO much for all of your support. We saw many of you in person, purchasing for yourself or for family and loved ones. We also saw so many of you bringing your friends along, introducing them to us and our products. It brings a smile to both of our faces when we hear you talk so fondly of our products and how they've helped you tremendously. It's truly incredible to hear the stories of healing and what our organic products have done for you....