Eleven Months

I haven’t written in a while. It has been far too long.

It has been Eleven Months since we learned of the pandemic and the shutdown. Of course back then, we thought it would be over in a month or two. Then there was the shutdown in Mid March. But we made the best of it and took the time to rearrange the studio and paint the walls and floors. We kept our staff and kept everyone busy with making all modifications to the studio that I had been wanting to do for a long time and couldn’t without shutting down. Well, hey, we got shut down and seized the opportunity.

I was worried, though. I was still fighting to pay the mountain of debt that we had stupidly created early in the first year or so in business. Warren Buffet says that you can tell who has been skinny dipping when the tide goes out. It is very true.

We quickly got in gear and developed the DIY take-home kit for pottery and canvas and other types of craft kits. I worked on the website and quickly built the functionality for it and launched with a dozen products. We posted it out on social media like crazy and it caught on. We were selling them every day. Total revenues still came in over 50% below where they were the same time in 2019. So it was painful. We are extremely thankful for the amount of people who purchased our kits.

We converted our summer camp to a choice of in-studio or online virtual camp. I was amazed at how many people signed up for zoom camp each week. And I was even more amazed at how many came in studio. We were well below our normal camp revenues, but it really was awesome considering everything.

I sold a house to pay payroll, I drove DoorDash every day, we closed our Tempe location and now only have the one location in Downtown Chandler, I sold another house, I received a couple small grants, and still, I fight every day to pay everything.

I promised the staff I would keep them going and they wouldn’t have to worry about that. Some of the staff has chose to do other things throughout these months, but that is ok. They will always be family to us and we wish them nothing but the best.

I am thankful we are still here. There are many businesses who had to close forever. It could be us tomorrow. But for today, I am going to just keep fighting.

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