So much has happened lately... and in some ways so little too. Weird :/
Of course our Stellar buyers didn't get to go to China this year, but we kept in touch with the favs, through their lockdowns and ours. We appreciate that their experience was a world apart from ours here. Graeme and I enjoy our regular travels there - the people we now know, the sights, the deals, the food. The real value of the trade relationships we've built in those visits shows up now. We have confidence despite the circumstances. As my dad always said "the fruit is in the pudding*", and our samples arrived on time and summer orders are locked in with delivery dates secured. It's a fruity pudding indeed.
Plans are underway for our stand at the Spring Gift Fair in August. We're back in Hall 1 this time. And despite there still being a threat 'out there', most of our stockists are attending the fair. I imagine the atmosphere will be fun, with all the nervous excitement for a season like none before. I'll take this moment to mention our Stellar colleague Shekinah, who can't make the trip across the ditch to join us - you are missed already Shine!
We have been proactively taking twinkle pre-orders for Christmas and Summer, and hope you've taken advantage of the virtual tours, zoom calls, or personal visits on offer. I hope all these new e-platforms stay as features of our communication with you, but to be honest we can't wait to see you in person, showing off our hard work and love for lights.
*I learned in my 30s it was proof.
All well and good on the Stellar home front. We celebrated getting to Level Two by doing up our Christchurch showroom haha! That seemed to seamlessly roll in to Level One. Thomas and Graeme have been conducting showroom tours, and have started the travels to visit our beautiful stockists outside of the Waitaha area. We have plenty of newbies on display and in the works.
We have contact tracing info available, but the workflow is continuing as it was - back in the office, although lunches aren't the busy noisy affair they once were.
And just like that, we're outta lockdown! I must admit, there was a fair bit of beauty in that time for us. I'm thankful for the glorious Autumn weather, my beautiful tamariki, and thankful too that the Stellar team kept the pace and spirits up. Somehow Graeme and Anshh even managed to get a stocktake done - not quite the same without us all gathering for pizza afterwards though eh.
We've been in touch with many of our stockists over this time - some of you have your doors open already with distancing protocols, and most of you are offering click and collect for phone or website orders. We're fully operational as far as ordering and deliveries go, and are warmed up seeing the stellar twinkles go out again to their future homes.
We're hopeful that we'll be bringing some beautiful light to the summer of 20-21, although we're not to sure how or when we can do that...
What a week. What a year. What.... just what...
Our team moved in to 'lockdown' mode with the rest of New Zealand, in the hopes that the Covid19 virus won't affect our beautiful communities like it has elsewhere. We're taking the lockdown seriously here. Our team implemented distancing and hygiene practices and bossman Graeme handed out anti germ disguised as care packs last week, and we had discussed our virtual working plan before it was announced on Monday. We staggered our departures during this week, and will have 'skeleton staff' in for dispatch and security over the next four weeks.
We'll all work remotely until the Covid19 alert level is lowered, in whatever capacity you need us to.
Fairy lights and twinkles are so well known to cause peaceful smiles. They bring a special ambience to the room and occasion, and as Katie always says 'no one frowns at fairy lights'. What a wonderful job we have, to bring that kind of light, with you, in to the homes and lives of the people. We value any chance to keep doing so, and of course we're as anxious and excited as everyone else about the burdens and opportunities this season brings us.
How does this affect you? We're taking your calls (we'd quite like them actually haha), and when we are allowed to, we will have safe dispatch systems back up and running. Like all the business owners we're talking to, we're also planning for a splendid summer season ahead. So we'll keep it easy - you can phone and chat to us or order online for 'delivery on opening' or the usual festive deliveries starting in October.
Shekinah will send out a reminder of your online access to the wholesale section of our website, to those of you who have accounts that haven't been used in a wee while. Get in touch if you aren't sure of yours.
Spring and Summer backorders are all on hold for now. We are not cancelling orders, but we're part of the same cycle you are so we understand that we're all planning for better times, while keeping all the options open. We will confirm all the details with you when we're all back in our stores and at our desks.
Now is a pretty good time to be asking the questions, bringing us product design ideas, talking to us about your plans, hopes and even uncertainty. Cos we are literally all in this together!
Āta haere, our dear twinkle friends. Go safely. We hope you keep warm, well, and entertained over the next few weeks... and we're praying for a wonderful, prosperous summer season with you this year.
The Glorious Stellar Haus Twinkle Team xx