In short, yes- and I will say it has been 16 years since my angsty 13 year old self, blasted this Simple Life emo anthem on Napster or whatever illegal streaming service was popular in 2004. I do not have to tell you, but the current situation is serious. It has left many (myself included) riddled with fear and anxiety- not only for my health and safety, but the very real fiscal consequences from COVID-19 that cannot be ignored.
Alana and I are straight shooters, we don’t bullshit each other or our customers. Wednesday’s at 5:30 was born out of the many questions we received asking what it was like to start a company and run a small business with a close friend. It is a designated time that Alana and I block out to catch each other up on all things business and personal.
So, real talk, things are tough right now. We of course are beyond grateful for the continued support from our customers, that goes without saying. But to break it down, all of our manufacturing and fulfillment is done in Los Angeles, which is currently under shelter in place. While we might consider chic loungewear an essential, the CDC does not deem us an essential business that can remain operating in full effect during the mandate. So what does this mean? In a nutshell, manufacturing delays, shipping delays, etc. Every single piece of La Detresse requires handmade work- bleaching, tiedye and distressing. To fulfill our stream of orders and enforce social distancing, we are paying a heavily downgraded scale of our manufacturing team to work. Same goes with our fulfillment center, we have one person fulfilling orders.
There is a fine line to walk between balancing the expectations of your customers, wanting to provide income for your dedicated employees who depend on steady pay and prioritizing health and safety over profit. In a nutshell, it’s stressful and sometimes it seems like a lose lose situation. That being said, we count ourselves lucky- we really do have the best customers. For every frustrating phone call trying to find a manufacturing workaround, we get an email from a customer who is so happy with their purchase.
I do not think any of us could have ever fathomed the situation we currently find ourselves in. We are all in this together and need to remember that everyone is just trying their best. Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others. We appreciate you now and always.