2022 was a whirlwind year for me (I’m sure many of you can relate). I always find it’s helpful to have a look back at what happened—good and bad—to better plan for the future.
On a personal level I was distracted more in 2022 than ever before; I had my first baby in April and the uncertainty of the world economy really wore on me the second half of the year. We have a lot of safety nets as citizens in the US, I’ve never worried about going hungry even if our business should completely fail, but our partners in Indonesia, India, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, and the Philippines often can’t rely on their governments taking care of their basic needs if work dries up. Not only that, our partners also have to find a way to pay for a lot of the luxuries many of us take for grated—including basic public schooling for their children.
This is a concern that’s been on my mind from the moment we opened our doors. I don’t take the commitment we give to our makers lightly—it’s imperative we follow through on all promises made because if we don’t it would literally mean bellies going to bed hungry.
When the economy slows we take the opportunity to inspect every facet of our business to make sure we can ride it out and can support our makers through the unique hardships in their own countries. Sometimes that means giving them a head’s up that our next order might be a bit smaller than usual, sometimes it means we encourage them to take our designs in a different direction (like when we began relying more on upcycled materials at the beginning of Covid), and sometimes that means asking what basic necessities they truly needso we can provide those needs for them, even at a distance.
As we look into how our business will evolve this year I have two main areas of focus: show and tell. I want to show you what we’re doing and tell the story of how we’re doing it. That’s it. It seems simple but I feel like we may have lost that in 2022. I hope you plan to continue following and supporting us this year (even if that’s just being our cheerleader on social media or telling friends about us—we appreciate that more than you know!) so we can grow despite uncertain times.