No one will forget March 2020. This is the month we learned what any epidemiologist will tell you and what Bill Gates warned us about in 2015: the biggest threat we face in the 21st century is not a missile, but a microbe.
That microbe arrived in the US as we ushered in a new decade, and within 10 weeks, news reports laid out the heart-wrenching reality of the pandemic we have before us.
For any new business owner, most of us admittedly dreamers, the shock of a pandemic is hard to process and hard to square with the vision boards, the goals, and the excitement of launching after months and months of determined work. Disbelief, sorrow, enormous intake of news, followed by mild panic take over. Nothing seems doable as it did only a month ago. In New York, our indigo sustainable fabrics sit waiting while our masterful sewing team stays safe at home. Several blocks away our Spring 2020 Flor chandelier earrings are safely stored in the lovely atelier in the Flower District, waiting for the day the manufacturers can come back to work to finish them. And in Mexico, our artisans are learning how to stay safe in their weaving groups while creating our newest blue backstrap wraps. Everyone and every aspect of what we do is affected by the health crisis at hand.
And, so, here we are with all the anticipation of spring 2020 changed forever. Whatever our plans or our expectations were, they now demand flexibility and creativity. Moreover, we have to ask ourselves: what matters after March 2020? We must be relevant and part of the solution, not only for positive changes in the fashion industry long term, but also for supporting our community during this crisis in the short term.
We are here “for the duration,” as my grandmother used to say. We will learn as we go, protecting our work, our artisans, and our vision for the future. Our future is better informed with this stark reminder of the connectedness of our human race. We need each other, we affect one another, and most of all, what we do -matters.