Black Friday sales we knew would be a crazy time this year. Turns out, 4 of my clients (Dental Hygienist lingo coming out), I should say Customers. 4 of them received orders a whole month late.
I had been so worried knowing that these are returning customers, customers who I know personally. I knew I wouldn't let them go without their purchase and I knew I would possibly have to take the loss and remake or refund after all the work I put in. I'm dedicated to customer service, I pride myself in providing white glove service to my customers. This is what I most value from places I shop at. So naturally, this is what I want to offer.
Every week that has gone by that these 4 customers haven't received their orders I've had a sinking feeling, a worry that I need to track all orders but I cant afford it and, how can I charge that all the time? Will people just stop buying from me? Also, a little anxiety that maybe they will think I didn't even send their items...
Today, on December 30th, as I'm thinking I need to email this one particular lady because I want her to know I'm keeping tabs I received a voice message on Instagram saying: "Astrid, I received my order! I hope you haven't remade my items and if you have, I'm sure someone else will love them."
a few minutes after that (No JOKE!) I received an email saying: "Hi, I received my order yesterday. So Lovely."
We all know there has been a lot of bad this year. A lot of pain, a lot of uncertainty for many of us and for some, deep grief and suffering. I decided when I opened Simply Aria Boutique that this would be a little shop that would offer some light. Some little bit of happiness and calmness. I decided that I would do my best to treat people not as customers but as human beings with a story, with a family, with a need I could fill with high quality facemasks and products that would last until this was over.
I never imagined that this would fill a need I had as well.
I was very worried at the start of this pandemic, like many of you.
Something I haven't told you is I was also very trapped in my head... those who follow me know that I have 2 kids. Ever since I had my first, Orion, I closed a lot of possibilities in my life. Secret dreams I had. Goals I had. I did it because of the deep love I have for him and I'm of the mentality (with everything) that I go all in and I do it fully or not at all. I've been this way with my career, with my family, with my beliefs. So, I figured I'll lose a little me for the greater good of my family and mainly for the greater good of my children. I'm deeply passionate about whatever I do, when it comes to my deepest love which is my kids. It was so natural.
But, with that I also lost a lot of me. I lost my outlook on possibilities. I built walls in my head that said a GOOD mother can't do both (I know this isn't true). My 'mother guilt,' which is such a real thing, was always creeping in the back of everything I did.
With having this little shop I have slowly broken free of those walls. I have made new dreams. I am able to work at home while helping out my family financially. Able to be with my kids and provide beautiful items that bring a little joy. I have that little Astrid confidence I had lost and I really do believe that there are possibilities in spite of how impossible they might seem in your mind.
I have also met people who surprise me. People who are honest and appreciative. People who sincerely care for the wellbeing of others. I have met business owners that lend a hand to help out and are happy for your positive outcomes, and help you out with your fails (because I've had many this year). I have met very few who are competitive and only take. But few and I thought it would be ALL... this shows me there is more possibility for GOOD. Especially when your looking for it.
2021 might have its challenges but if you're always looking for a little light, you will be surprised by how much you'll find.
I'm content with what we've accomplished together. Because of your help in supporting my small business, to-date we have donated 734 Facemasks to our community. We have sold over 2300 Facemasks, so that's a LOT of people who have been proactive in stopping the spread.
I am DEEPLY thankful for all of your support. I look forward to a better year and more possibilities to do good and make even the smallest difference.
Yes, like that little Bumblebee, all the impossibilities of 2020 can be possibilities in 2021 and I hope you are inspired to try something new and go for it!
Sending you love.