Everyone's experience of this pandemic has been completely unique. With a range of difficult emotions felt across the world, I have been moved by the ways in which humanity has come together to support and care for each other. The sense of community that has emerged has been wonderful to witness, from rainbow embellished windows to seeing people reaching out and fundraising to help those most affected.
As a small business owner, I was particularly fearful of what this would mean for me and others like me. I started to worry that my business would take a real hit. With everything so uncertain, I just tried taking it day by day, with lots of deep breaths and careful preparation. Quite quickly it became more and more difficult to get hold of materials and supplies, and the panic really set in! One thing I learned; bee eyes are like buses! It went from tumbleweed to thousands in the space of 24 hours!
Going back to what I said about community, the Etsy platform was a great example of this. From makers and creators producing the perfect gifts and trinkets to send out to loved ones, and transferring their skills to make essential items like masks for the public. A great quote springs to mind, “It's not a hobby, is a post-apocalyptic life skill”. Often creatives are pegged as the dreamers of the world, to those that have heard all too many times, “What's your real job?” or have had their talent and passion misnamed as 'hobby'. But it is these unprecedented times that 'the creatives' have really kept us all going. How much more we have all relied on the products of creativity, whether that be television, film, novels, video games, art and handmade items around the home, the list goes on! I hope that the value of these skills will remain a part of society once things start to return to 'the new normal'.
In case you don't know, as well as my website, I also sell on Etsy. The gift market has really been thriving, as people are finding new ways to reach out to their loved ones. So many of my orders since the pandemic have been marked as gifts, and writing out the gift messages has made me feel so honoured to be playing a part in connecting people. I can confess that love has very much so 'been in the air'. While we've missed out on hugs and kisses, we have adapted to find alternative ways to spread kindness and reach out to the ones we miss, and the people that we know might need that 'smile in a package' to arrive now more than ever. The popularity of my Bumble Bee Boxes has been so magical to see, and I love to know that my little bumble bee's having been buzzing across the globe sharing their smiles with people everywhere :) This success lead me to create a super cute new product which I am so excited to share with the world!! Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I will introduce to you the cutest, most 'Squishy' pet aliens to have ever landed on planet Earth :)
I'd like to round up by thanking every single person who has supported my small business during this scary, uncertain and worrying time in all of our lives. The need for us to stick together has never been stronger, and buying from small businesses and shopping local will make a difference now more than ever! Most importantly a HUGE thank you to essential workers, the NHS ranging all the way to bus drivers and supermarket workers, my heart goes out to those risking their lives and our gratitude is eternal <3