Ok, this one has been a toughy to articulate; the ADHD & Dyslexia have been working their magic. But here's the unexpected situation we find ourselves in:
Because of the incredible reaction & support we've received over the past week, the sales have essentially crowdfunded us into a completely opposite situation. We now have new options that weren't available when making the initial decision - with the best being the brain-mangling chance to continue trading & keep the Bearhug alive!
Which is an unbelievable place to be in, as we never dreamed in a bazillion years thought we'd have this chance. You've effectively saved a small business, not only financially but, most of all, given us a chance to breathe & reconnect with the amazing community surrounding the brand.
It's very early days, as this option, although the best one - has only just popped up as a possibility. The initial reasons for closing are still very much there - so, unless we make the right changes to the business, we'll, unfortunately, only be prolonging the inevitable. So it's imperative we plan well & look to bring in new team members who can help build the brand back up.
Noelle & I came to the initial decision due to the last few years being a tough slog; I'd been working 70-80 hours a week, hardly seeing our boys & rarely sleeping. As a result, we both became disengaged from the business & we struggled to find the energy to stay motivated. We realised something needed to change before it got any worse, so we decided to get some advice & work out how best to proceed. Sadly, we were made aware that the best option was to shut up shop before it got any worse.
We reluctantly came to terms with it & planned to close at the end of the month, giving us a few weeks to ensure all orders were dispatched, wages were paid & had no outstanding balances with suppliers.
Buuuuut this is where you guys showed up & the madness kicked in! Between updating everyone online at around 4pm on Thursday to the end of the day - we'd somehow managed to make more than the previous two months combined! Which is insane! This then created a mix of disbelief, big tears & panic. Once somewhat settled, we moved all remaining & planned stock over the mystery boxes to manage dispatch.
As a team of 4 x full-time & 1 x part-time humans & we were already stretched, especially as I'm not allowed near orders, as I fold like a blind gorilla. I stick to my side of things & the rest of the super-human team somehow manages to cover screenprint, embroidery, DTG, prints, customer service & everything in between! These guys have been the glue over the past year, keeping everything ticking along & as a result of the sales, it's meant they're able to continue with their jobs.
So, in conclusion… I have no idea what's happening! As it stands, the main focus is getting the mass of orders dispatched & somehow convincing everyone this wasn't a delayed April Fools! Technically, it's the fault of unreal, big-hearted people who ordered… in your incredible support & kindness; you picked us back up, dusted us off & patted us on the backside!
My aim is to stop wandering around like Alien Mr Burns, focus & put everything into making the most of this unlikely opportunity given to us, just as long as it's not 70-80 hours a week!
Anyways, I'll update everyone later in the week once we have a solid plan in place.
Again, A huge thank you; we massively appreciate everything!
Luke, Noelle & The Bearhug Co. Team