in the workshop
Dec 20, 2020
Life is fickle.
If twenty-twenty has taught us nothing else, we all might consider that while we like to imagine a measure of control over our lives, in reality we have very little. The most we can manage is our reaction to the people and situations we face. How we show up in the world says everything about us. The way we act and react speaks volume on a person's character. Our ability to listen, to forgive, to move beyond the petty annoyances shows our humanity in its clearest form. I sometime wonder when the world began to equate kindness with weakness? In reality nothing could be further from the truth.
The background noise of American life is one determinate of how we show up. Growing up the background noise of my life was Broadway and Motown. For many of my generation it is now the sound of a television with a twenty-four hour news cycle that demands fresh drama at every turn. A voracious verbal beast that will always find or create bedlam where none exists. 24 hour news channels have fundamentally changed the world in which we live, and the way we speak and act to one another. Raised voices, talking over one another and a sense of urgency about almost every story. Pandemic or politics, the surety that "I am right and you are wrong" has been the theme of this year. Will twenty-twenty-one be any different? Sure hope so.
We hope we have succeeded in touching your life in a positive way this year. While aspects of our attempts to order our world may have frustrated some, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. And it looks as though our walkup, pickup system won't be changing any time soon. A conscious choice that has served us well. While it limits the ability to generate pre-pandemic income, it continues to allow us to look after ourselves and our business in an intentional way. Splitting the difference is often the kindest way forward. Rather than pretend to normalize what is surely not normal, we choose to move in a new direction. A direction that will steer our course for many years to come.
After 15 years, we've learned a thing or two. Adapt or die is surely one of the more important lessons. Change is a fundamental part of life. Nothing can stay the same. Balancing the old and the new is a challenging and exciting proposition, one that drives us daily and brings us joy. Managing our expectations allows us to continue to thrive and grow, even in challenging times. Often people ask how we are doing. We are fine. We are pivoting our business so that it may thrive for another 15 or 20 years. Here are some facts you might not know. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of small businesses fail within their first year. By the end of their fifth year, roughly 50 percent of small businesses fail. After 10 years, the survival rate drops to approximately 35 percent. It only continues to drop from there. We've been around for some time because we know how best to proceed with our enterprise. While various local businesses approach operations with a variety of models, we focus less on what others are doing and pay attention to what works best for us. To date it has been working very well.
Sarah and I want to thank you for your kindness, compassion and support in this year of massive change. As we look forward to the coming year, and many years beyond, our goals are still the same: To live a well balanced life of work and play, to continue to create awesome bath, spa and skincare, and to find a permanent home in a building we can call our own.
Whatever twenty-twenty-one has in store, we will be here.