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2020. The year that the world completely changed. The year when we were all forced to make changes to our lives. The year that we will remember forever.
When news of covid-19 first hit back in January of 2020, we as a business never envisaged the effect that it would have. We exhibited at London Comic Con Spring at the end of February and had a fantastic show on the banks of the Mersey in Liverpool in March. And then trading as we knew it stopped overnight.
When large scale events bring in the majority of your earnings and like so many others, you have bills to pay and a family to support, this news felt like the end. We were suddenly plunged into a world of home-schooling and trying to grow a business remotely.
Determined to make a success of our online presence, we spent the months during lockdown learning about marketing. Facebook ads, email campaigns, user on boarding, coding; you name it, we learnt it. There were many frustrations and risks. Spending money to promote your brand with no guarantee of success; not having the complete know-how especially when it came to computer jargon; trying to educate an 8 year old and work from home-all difficult at a time of world crisis and uncertainty.
But do you know what? We did it. Our hard work paid off and our online sales began to grow. Our website was processing orders the likes of which we hadn’t seen before in all of our years of trading. And it felt like such a relief. To know that we were relevant not just at comic cons and gamer events but to people in their own homes. That our business is viable both in a face-to-face and online capacity.
This time has also enabled us to create new designs (Moon, Anchorman, The Goonies, Highlander to name a few) and to work on expanding our product lines. We are just about to launch beanie hats and are hoping to print baseball caps when the spring and summer months finally arrive.
And although we have found this time such a challenge and a worry, it has brought about positives. Finding new ways to work keeps your business fresh and we have been able to spend much more time together as a family. Don’t get us wrong, we can’t wait for the days of large scale events to return. We get a real buzz out of selling designs that we love to people who love them too. Being able to talk about a shared interest is a huge part of what we drives us forward with our business. But this will now co-exist alongside our website sales. The best of both worlds. A steep learning curve and one that no doubt has not finished on its trajectory just yet.
There is hope that 2021 will be a year where we are able to interact freely with each other. Where we can meet at events whenever and wherever we want. But 2020 will always be there as a reminder not to take for granted what we have. And it will hopefully enable us to appreciate those things that have been temporarily taken away from us just a little bit more than we did.
Stay safe everyone. Here’s to reaching light at the end of the tunnel.