Although this moment is very challenging for everyone, there are definitely positive aspects in my opinion. I was very fortunate to spend two months with my parents in isolation, something that I could not imagine happening under different circumstances. I also strongly believe this has been an opportunity for humanity to experience a fast transition and our power to adapt. Hopefully this will inspire positive social and environmental changes that are so pressing in our times.
How has your business changed?
All our industry was affected, and our pace drastically reduced. This left us more time to focus on our internal organization. We are working on new designs, structuring our company to sell and communicate directly to our clients and looking at ways to further our sustainability and traceability efforts. We are basically using this time to prepare our business for the future.
What types of measures have you taken to reduce the impact of the lockdown?
We have significantly reduced our expenses in the hope of coming out of this crisis with the financial means to resume our business. We negotiated rent holidays for our offices, reduced our working hours, and made the difficult decision to furlough some of our team members who were not be able to continue their jobs from home.
Has your way of communicating changed?
As a global team, we are very used to working remotely and we adapted quickly to working from home and communicating digitally. We always remained in touch with our retail partners discussing ways to support each other and have been holding virtual chats with clients who are interested in knowing more about our pieces and our story. Social media was a difficult aspect to navigate. We were very sensitive to people who were suffering due to Covid-19 and abstained from sharing any content during the first few weeks. We started to use our social media again in early April in an effort to support charities. We had an encouraging response and started gradually engaging, making sure everything we put out is very authentic and representative of our values.
What is the situation in your country?
The situation in Brazil has been very concerned. The President has not treated the pandemic with seriousness and our country does not have the infrastructure to deal with the high number of cases. The regional leaderships, however, are trying to do their part and now the country is in a political divide on top of the current health crisis.
My business is based in the UK, where I found the position of the government somewhat confusing and they have been consistently unclear when communicating with the public. That said, they have put out very efficient support schemes for small businesses, which have been very helpful for us.
Your biggest fear?
I am afraid for the health and safety of my loved ones. When it comes to our industry, I am open to embracing the changes and ready to face the challenges that are inevitably coming.
What is the challenge for the future?
The uncertainty is the main challenge. It is impossible to plan ahead, and we are being forced to live one day at a time. This is an interesting exercise in our personal lives, but a very hard way to conduct a business.
Any future projects?
We have a new collection in production, which slowly started moving again with the reopening of the workshops in Italy. We are still not in a position to set a launch date yet, but our goal is to announce it as soon as possible. We also have our online shop in development, which will be an exciting new chapter for our brand.