Hi! It’s Stephie here, I thought I would let you know what has happened for us in the last few days. For me, this was one of the hardest times in my life.
The pressure and some of the challenges:
- Standing in front of my staff on a Tuesday morning explaining to them that our little factory is an essential business and will remain open through the lockdown. Seeing all of their faces drop and the worry set in really broke my heart and will go down as one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life.
- Having staff depend on me to keep them and their families safe and desperately wanting so hard to do right by everybody.
- Not being able to get all the supplies we needed, and when we did find them the price was through the roof.
- Having to pay $11,000+ in courier charges just to fly a few bottles in to keep us going for 2 weeks… not including the bottles.
- Eating everything in site that looks like a carb 😩
Let me tell you about Thursday.
Last Thursday we were full steam ahead, the team were working hard to get all our parcels out the door as well as source more ingredients and packaging. All was trucking along when out of the blue we were advised by our usual courier that they will not be delivering any more of our hand sanitiser parcels without a big increase in cost due to it containing Alcohol. That was it, shut down that instant.
I went into complete shock, I mean I went completely blank, It was like my brain froze, knowing I had so many parcels I was responsible for. It does not happen very often but this was a trauma response because I know that the lovely people we are supplying are truly in need right now.
So there we were, with plenty of product, and hundreds of parcels just sitting there and more being added by the minute, what could we do. Yes of course, we understand what the issue was with our courier in regards to the alcohol content but we felt that in a pandemic some exceptions should be made and surely we could negotiate a way through. I felt sick.
No exceptions was what we were told and by the end of the day the scenario looked like:
They would send our parcels out in a few weeks/ days if we were lucky and the cost would go up to $13 per parcel to send. They told us to wait until the morning for more information. Needless to say, I awoke Friday morning with a body slam of anxiety. All day we waited, unable to send the hundreds of parcels we had sitting there. As time ticked on we decided to find another option as a backup.
By the end of Friday we had a new courier service ready to be our hero’s, and they actually used to be our previous couriers, and the lovely Preet would be our new driver. YAY!
All weekend I worked on the integration of the two websites to make sure we were up and running for Monday. We got to the factory on Monday and waited for the new mail bags to arrive… but they didn’t! 🤦♀️😩
So here we are on Tuesday, the bags had finally arrived and the big send began, all with new software and a new system for our team, and that is not easy.
So now you know what the last week was like for me/us! We want you to know that our courier deliveries have resumed and all is well… but oh my goodness what a week.
Good things about the week:
- I gave away lots of hand sanitiser to checkout gals, posties, nanas, grandads and mums.
- People have been so very sweet
- Getting lots of feedback and seeing our hand sanitiser being used
- Having a kind partner who has been patient and lovely to me and kept steady when my wheels got wobbly.
Lots of love , Stephie