Oh my goodness, well where to begin!?
20 minutes later and I have tried to write a sentence that follows this question about 400 times and deleted it! I cannot find the words to do justice in explaining what a year we have had.
And by ‘we’, I don’t just mean Aesthetic Laundry; I mean every single person out there. Of course I cannot speak to individual personal experiences; I cannot even begin to understand the many differing hardships people will have faced, but I do know that this year has made an impact, in one way or another, on us all.
It is funny, when I came to sit and write a 2020 round up, I had my tick list of Aesthetic Laundry ‘small wins’ as we call them in the studio. The small steps we have taken, the hurdles we have overcome, which have meant that the Aesthetic Laundry dream has stayed alive. And yet I am struggling to write them down.
And I think that struggle to celebrate the ‘small wins’ is because this year our social, economical and environmental challenges reared their heads so prominently via the media, we could not look the other way, like we had been. We have been forced to take a good hard look at ourselves and our actions. And to be totally frank no ‘small win’ could allow me to feel any less uncomfortable and embarrassed about the state of our world and the fact that I have not been doing enough.
The year began as it had ended, with Australia’s ‘Black Summer’ as huge bushfires spread across the country and we would continue to read about these fires, such as the Amazon rainforest, throughout the year. The first death from an illness that would become known as COVID-19 was announced in January and by April more than half of the world were in a lockdown, with the devastating effects both medically and economically still affecting us as I sit and type this now. The Black Lives Matter movement, which although has been around since 2013, saw a huge shift in public opinion in May following the death of George Floyd.
Each of these examples (amongst many others) have sat with us in the studio; they have led us to debate and discuss what we are doing, or more precisely what we aren’t doing, and what more we can and should be doing. This may sound simple, but we are a small business. A small business, not only in team size, but also with no financial backing or funding, means that each change we make has to be thought through to ensure every decision we make counts.
So I guess what I am saying here is, there is more to come. Like many other small businesses we may have appeared somewhat quiet as we navigate our way through 2020, but behind the scenes we are working hard to not only bring you your comfy colourful Aesthetic Laundry garments, but are also putting a plan into place to ensure we more actively hold ourselves accountable to utilise our platform. We want to make small meaningful changes and continue to have you (our reader) as part of the journey and development of Aesthetic Laundry.
But before we look ahead it still seems fitting to close the year in the present and I do think it is important to highlight one thing that did happen to Aesthetic Laundry from a business perspective. As the first lockdown hit, Aesthetic Laundry came very close to closing. The conversations Heidi and I had were the ones small business owners lose sleep over on a regular basis. The Spring / Summer collection launch was our final shot.
Without dwelling on it too much (I promise this is a story we will tell, let's just save it for another day!), we find ourselves at the end of 2020 with you, our wonderful customers, to thank. You kept us going. Not only by purchasing from a small business during an incredibly difficult time, but the support and engagement we had with each and every one of you (honestly your comments, DMs and emails have been the highlight of our days) very literally kept us going.
We would not be able to be heading into 2021 with a promise to do more and to do better, had we not had each of you with us on this journey.
So, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Wishing you a wonderful Festive season and here is to 2021 being that little bit brighter and easier on us all.