#16 COVID-19: The last 7 days
It may only be Wednesday but it has been non-stop behind the scenes at Aesthetic Laundry. Heidi and I are finding ourselves on the phone around four times a day as we try to work through the current situation we are all facing and what we need to be doing each day. One of our company values is daring to be different to the rest of the industry and within this we class being transparent and honest about what we are doing. We have therefore decided to film videos titled ‘Decisions’. This content is our way to capture the more serious conversations that we are having on a daily basis as we try and decipher the next best steps for a small brand with four employees. You can watch our first video here.
As well as the bigger business decisions the updates from the government mean we are constantly reviewing our day to day running of the business. In the last couple of days both of us have heard from concerned family and friends in regards to us travelling to and from the studio, which is something that we are continuing to do albeit a reduced amount.
As of the 24th March the advice from the government was that those who cannot work from home should go to work ‘to keep the country running’. As you know we produce all our garments in-house from our studio in East London and therefore the production process starts and ends with our small team. With this in mind, to halt our production and dispatch, would mean we are no longer able to take orders and temporarily close the business.
This is a decision that Heidi and I do not take lightly. The priority for us both is our overheads, our wonderful team Liv and Anna.
To date we know that sadly we don’t qualify for any of the government grants and therefore our next step will be a small business loan via the banks. As I write this, we are still waiting for clarification of how to apply, when we will be able to apply and (should we succeed with our application) knowing when the funds will become available.
With this in mind and based on the governments latest advice, we are going to continue going to continue to use the studio for production and operations. We have this morning changed Heidi's routine to be as cautious as possible and will continue to review on a daily basis.
In terms of the updates and changes we have made in the last seven days, you can see them listed below. I am sure it will only be a matter of days before there will be more points to add, but for now this is our way to put our best foot forward.
Aesthetic Laundry: Team travel update
- As you will know, Liv went back to Australia last week. She is now in a two week isolation period at home, but we are so pleased she is with her family at this time.
- I am working from home permanently. I don’t live close to the studio and therefore would have to take public transport to get to work and luckily with a quick flat re-fresh am now fully set up from home.
- Heidi is only going to the studio from an operations perspective. She is only going to the studio to make and dispatch orders.
- The operations will be reduced to a maximum of two days per week and even then time in the studio will be limited to order fulfilment only.
- Heidi is to cycle to the studio going forward (you may have seen her new travel routine on our social media platforms). Beyond this Heidi is also based from home.
Everyday we are reviewing these and will continue to follow the governments advice. As I am sure you all finding, every day can seem like a lifetime and so many decisions are taken. But we will keep talking, reviewing and adapting as necessary.
To everyone who has show concern and sent words of encouragement, thank you. It is making the world of difference.