The end is nigh...
Well, 2020 has been a strange, tumultuous, shocker of a year – hasn’t it?!
I know for some, it’s been horrendous. Many have lost family, friends, income and/ or jobs. 😔
For others, great things have come of it. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, I hope you are doing OK, and get a break over Christmas to recoup and reflect. ❤️
Admittedly, Curlicue NZ has done pretty well out of Covid. Although I had to shut down for two months during that first NZ lockdown, I’ve experienced huge support with so many New Zealanders (both here and overseas) buying from my small business, which has been hugely appreciated. In terms of my small business – 2020 has been my best year yet!
Here in New Zealand, we had a pretty strict lockdown for those first few months, since March. I think that the ‘go hard, go early’ attitude from our health officials and government really made a massive difference. We knew who our first case was, and have been vigilant with contact tracing ever since.
Having said that, I know that our small ‘team of 5million’ was possibly easier to ‘control’ (and followed the rules) than other, much larger countries. But those rules were put into place to help and protect us, and it worked.
Then again in August, only Auckland had another lockdown – with no one allowed to go in or out – or even drive through! All our ‘borders’ had police blockades.
However – importantly (for the economy) – during this lockdown, those that were able to work from home, were still allowed to. So in that time, I was still able to create and send orders, as I had a contactless pickup and delivery system.
We will all have some good and some bad memories from this year. It’s definitely one to remember – though at the same time, I feel like I’ve forgotten much of it already. 🤔
There will be things I miss: my daughter and I were quite a good team with the home-schooling. I actually took a complete break from the business for a month or two over March/ April. I found it just too hard to work at the same time as home-schooling, house & garden managing and being the wife of an essential worker. (It turned out my daughter liked to ‘talk’ through her learning – quite distracting!!) 😂
My business was definitely not essential – and that’s OK. Apart from feeling a bit sad about it, not getting some admin and ‘learning’ type of work done, nothing broke.
I remember the silence. We would go out for a walk – you could walk in the middle of the road if you needed to (to avoid the other walkers and keep 2m distance), as there were no cars around. You could hear the birds singing, the wind in the trees and the lawnmowers going (from those that had them). Those that didn’t (like us) – our gardens went a bit wild.
On the weekends, we spent some quality time together painting our garden wall with a mural. We’re actually pretty proud of how it turned out! (It’s not quite finished… but only a few more birds and some more kowhai flowers to add now!)
We had Sunday games night + themed costumes with some friends on Skype (worked better than Zoom!)
I attended Zoom birthday parties and choir practices, my daughter had dance rehearsals on zoom and we had lots of facetime catch ups with my parents, who we couldn’t drive the half hour to visit.
We didn’t quite get into the whole bread-making thing though. I don’t eat bread, so there was not much point! Doug & Amanda tried to bake some beer bread at one point – apparently it was disgusting! They did, however, bake lots of yummy cakes! (So we all put on LOTS of weight!!) I had a spectacular caramel cake for my birthday in April. Then we had an Anzac Day cake, a Mother’s Day cake, and an ‘end of lock-down’ cake! We also did lots of other cooking and making things from scratch (like no-yeast pizzas, gnocchi etc)
Reflecting on the year in terms of my business, I’m quite proud of what I did achieve. 😁 There’s definitely a whole lot of stuff I never got around to, but I think you need to reconcile yourself to constantly being like that when you’re a small, one-woman business! It’s just impossible to do “all the things”!
However, I did manage to:
- design, create and produce two new collections: R3 and Leaves – which I love and seem to have been well-received; ☺️
- get an official partnership (through the donation of 10% of my revenue) to Forest & Bird going (and made my first instalment);
- be featured on the ‘Meet the Maker’ Felt blog (for kiwi craft makers) and in their Christmas Gift Guide; and
- I now also have some of my items in the online “Eco” shop Green Elephant.
Supporting Small Businesses
When we got back down to level 1 and were able to work again in May, New Zealanders came out in force to support “local” and buy from small businesses, which was wonderful! I had more sales in May than I had for the previous 6 months!!
As a family, we also tried to do the same. In the two school holidays (when we were allowed to travel), we went to Kaikoura and then Nelson. Both places had long been on our ‘list of places to go in NZ’, and we were finally able to tick them off. Both places were wonderful! We had fantastic holidays and experiences in both, that were unforgettable and unique! We also tried to spend our money in the local businesses, and supported many ‘handcrafted’ makers, by buying their wares either as gifts for others, or treasures to keep for ourselves.
As the year is coming to a close and Christmas is just around the corner, I’m so happy to say many people have been doing the same for me. Again, I’ve had a bumper Christmas season with more sales in November than I’ve ever had before. ❤️
Unfortunately, I have also managed to come down with a nasty cold, and then got a chest infection 😫 – so that has slowed me down. I’ve had to turn down a few social engagements that I was really looking forward to! It’s hard that everything happens at the end of the year, all at once!
This year I’ve decided to have a proper break over Christmas. I’ll still be around (apart from an actual holiday mid-January), but I’ll be taking a well-earned break to rest, recoup, review this year, plan for 2021 and come back cool, calm and refreshed! 😎
I’ll be closed from next Wednesday 16th December, reopening again on Monday 18th January 2021.
So, on that note: to all of my lovely customers (those that have been loyal and returned, and those that are new), friends and family who’ve supported me this year…. I wanted to give you an