The Coronavirus has created overwhelming despair for everyone all over the world and we’re no exception. That being said, we still count our blessings every morning. Thankful to take on another, no doubt filled with the unexpected, as were most days this year. Grateful because we realize that our situation, even on days when we didn’t have the strength to face it, fail in comparison to the heartbreaking year that so many of our friends and neighbors have dealt with since this plague took hold on our world.
We started this year with the intention of reaching out to our local market, partnering with other small businesses in our area to provide the Greater Pittsburgh region more opportunity to experience our artisan handcrafted products... then we were told to go on lockdown. Change in plans. What does essential worker mean? Where do we get masks? The brewery is selling hand sanitizer now?!
What can we do to help our customers... our neighbors... our community? We make soap. They say to wash your hands more. So we make more soap. We give more soap. We encourage everyone to wash their hands more frequently. Supplies become scarce. Packaging becomes scarce. Business mind kicks in. Find other sources. Domestic. Think of other small businesses that are struggling. Triple price increases overnight. Can’t raise prices, customers are struggling to make rent. People are out of work. Eat the costs, in fact, offer more discounts. Customer needs to cancel their order because of an unexpected financial burden, issue a refund, and send out the products anyway. We’ll worry about making up the losses in margin another day when we can breathe again...
Months later and we’re still gasping for air, both literally and metaphorically. The holidays are always the busiest time of year for us. Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, a New Year dawning. It offers many opportunities for us to show those around us that extra bit of love that make the holidays so magical. But this year is so different. Gathering around for tradition now involves a poor internet connection and a Zoom conference call. That is, if we are fortunate enough to have no lost someone this year.
Our hearts keep breaking over and over. The tears of a panic stricken sister wondering if her son is going to be okay. The friend losing a father far too soon. The couples passing hours apart from each other. The hundreds of thousands not being able to say goodbye. The grief is unbearable...
The tremendous loss of life is only compounded by the physical and mental toll being felt all over. The millions without work. The millions waiting for hours in lines for a single box of food meant to last an entire month. The waitress turned takeout person crying alone in her car after another shift with no tips. The young family given 2 hours to pack up all their belongings. The single mother turned at-home educator. The cashier just trying to make it through another chaotic shift with being terrified they are going to get sick, or even worse, unknowingly infecting those around them.
Our wish for this holiday season is a return to compassion. Showing that extra level of understanding for our fellow man, woman, gender nonconforming. Patience. Going above and beyond to help those around us. Check on your neighbors. Support local business. Wear your mask. Offer words of encouragement. Lend an ear for those who need to be heard. Wash your hands. Shovel a sidewalk. Send a care package. Think about others! Thank a healthcare worker. Thank a scientist.
We’re so thankful for those who are working tirelessly around the clock to make this situation bearable for our small towns and sprawling cities all around the country and the world. We’re hopeful that 2021, with the cooperation of civility and vaccines giving use restored optimism, will be better for us all.
We look forward to serving our great customers next year and coming up with new and innovative ways to assist our neighbors. As always, we’ll continue doing our part. We encourage you to join us!
Wishing you all the best in 2021,
Tristan & David