Some of you may have seen that we took part in a (remote) interview with Gifts Today Magazine last week, all about how we’re trying to weather the current COVID-19 storm. Here are the details of the interview with Gift Today’s Editor Sally:
Hannah, how are you all? How’s your team’s morale?
We're OK, trying to remain positive! Personally we've had some knock backs - Oli and I were due to get married in the next couple of months but are now making plans to postpone until next year. That being said, we're finding that putting all of our efforts into our work and our business is helping us through. We know we're lucky that we're still able to crack on - our workshop is easily accessible from home and we're still receiving orders. Our thoughts are with our customers and stockists who have had to close their doors for the foreseeable future.
How are you coping with staffing levels – ensuring staff are okay and that you’re abiding by government regulations? Do you have back-up plans?
So far so good - again, we know we're lucky that in the meantime it's just the two of us, and that so far we've been in good health. We're making sure our stock levels are steady so that if any of our support team need to step in for whatever reason there's plenty of stock for them to send out!
Are you a company where some staff can comfortably work remotely?
A certain amount of our work can be done remotely - marketing, social media, blogging etc., but our core business practices of course rely on us being able to make it to our workshop and ship orders out.
How clear have you found government guidelines so far?
We're finding the daily briefings quite clear and effective - but we're definitely heading to Google for as much information as we can get!
Do you feel the government is offering enough support?
I think only time will tell - so far we've been impressed with the promises but it will be important to start seeing them being put into practice.
What business strategies do you have in place to assist the continual smooth running of your business?
It's been a huge shame for us to see so many of our wonderful stockists have to close their doors in the last few days. Not least because this will of course have a huge impact on our business, but also because we know so many of these businesses personally, and we know the pain closing their doors will have caused them! We're lucky to be able to switch efforts to our online sales, so for us social media, blogs and digital marketing has become even more important than ever.
Do you have any helpful advice or additional support you are offering your retailers?
Many of our stockists have done the same as us - switching their efforts to online sales or local deliveries wherever they can, which has of course been encouraging to see.
Have you currently got good stock levels to meet supply demand and the logistics in place to aim for smooth delivery?
Yes, this has been a big focus for us over the last week. We've purchased plenty of raw materials and are focusing on stocking our shelves for seamless deliveries over the next few months.
Do you feel that you may have any stock issues on the horizon and, if so, how will you seek to overcome these?
It's definitely something we're worried about - although everything we use to make all of our products is manufactured in the UK, so we're confident in our supply chain.
What’s your online presence and social media set-up like? Do you plan on boosting your online presence in weeks to come?
We are absolutely hoping to boost our online presence in the next few months. We're lucky to have a fantastic group of followers on our social channels, and we're keen to keep them updated every step of the way!
How will you continue to drive awareness to your product ranges?
Now is the perfect time for us to focus on great lifestyle and product photography, so we'll be using the time to shoot lots of great new content for our social channels.