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February 25, 2021 4 min read
Before I could begin to think about inspiration during this
pandemic, I had to find a way to get
In late December 2019, I arrived home from my last ship
appearance, after three weeks in ship quarantine. It would be
months before my unusually long recovery time was suspected to be
Long COVID-19. My first month home was spent sleeping and
resting. After 3 years of non-stop travel, it felt like a
By February, it was becoming tedious and I was beginning to slide into apathy towards both my business and my personal life. By March, it was clear the world was in a full-on pandemic and my employees were facing unemployment. All of this was occurring while I was sleeping more than 15 hours a day and coughing like a fiend.
It was obvious we could not rely on our ship-based business for an indeterminate amount of time and that it was going to require energy and extreme ingenuity to hold onto my business. 3 years of photographing textures and sketching design were shelved to come up with a survival strategy.
With the help of my core studio crew and my media-manager we
devised a plan to “clean out the safe and stay safe.” We were
inventory heavy on every level. Our attention turned to an under
developed and under utilized website in hopes of providing enough
income to carry us through…..through what? How long was this
going to go on?
Like everything I do, I underestimated the learning curve. We ran sales of discontinued inventory and sample collections and we began offering flash sales on collections that would never normally be reduced. In fact, they are usually sold out.
To our great relief, we succeeded and even had fun along the way. Necessity and survival are great motivators.
That circles back to the question I am asked in almost every interview. “How are you staying inspired?”
I quickly realized; inspiration can come from anywhere. If we were to survive this huge shift, we had to learn a new way. Kyle, (our digital media manager), jumped on trying to maximize a less than perfect website. In the studio, Carey and Sarah took over photographing and loading hundreds of pieces of jewelry for the Stay Safe sale. The response was tremendous, and a renewed energy and inspiration kicked in. Our inspiration for survival has zero to do with design but has proven just as satisfying.
And here we are, a full year later, still moving forward. There
has been much laughter, much frustration, and a good deal of
anxiety from time to time. There have been great gifts in this
I am very aware there is no going back to any “normal.” We are all learning a new normal. Being home for a year isn’t normal for me, let alone reinventing my business. The year, waking in my own bed every morning, has been a huge gift.
The development of a new e-commerce website is in process. (Thanks to an SBA disaster loan). In truth, we needed a new site five years ago. This year gave me time I never would have taken to put all of this in motion. It is extremely inspiring to see each member of The Q Crew stretch in news ways to fit new job requirements. I am proud of them and myself. In a time when so many small businesses had to call it quits, we have survived. I believe the worst of it is behind us.
And now there is time to pursue my heart’s motivation and
inspiration – creating with stone and metal. I have restarted the
“one pair of earrings a day” goal and we have new collections
coming out in Spring 2021.
The ships will sail again, and we will be ready. Heck, we are ready now as there is inventory sitting on those ships around the globe. As we diversify with better e-commerce strategy, an updated website and new collections, this time we will not have so many eggs in one basket.
There is a saying, “You can’t always change a situation, but you can learn to change your attitude.” Early in the year I wanted to crawl in bed and stay there. And things are not perfect yet. I am still battling some assumed Covid health issues. The business is surviving on limited funds. Web development is maddening and challenging. But we are OK. We are better than OK. No one is truly ill and we all have roofs over our heads and food to eat. And while the future is not clear, I have the faith and confidence we will come through it and our best inspired days are yet to come.
When the pandemic is over, The Q Crew will be ready for whatever comes next (and so will the Q Crew's newest employees...Luna and Tikki...pictured hard at work). We're motivated to face the future. Together.
Drop us a line on Facebook and let us know how you are staying motivated during the pandemic. We'd love to hear from you.
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Lost one of your favorite earrings and miss wearing the pair? Great news. It’s completely OK — we’ll even say it’s stylish — to wear mismatched or different earrings. When it comes to playing with earring asymmetry there are a few easy rules to follow for a successful look.
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