How are you? I hope you had a blinkin’ wonderful Christmas and New Year despite the strange circumstances. I thought I’d drop back in for the first blog of 2021 (and my last for a little while!) as I wanted to give you a little update on things here at LAD.
I’ve got a short agenda for today as I’m already desperate for a nap and I’ve only just started writing but let’s dive in…
You might have noticed that we abandoned the blog in December last year, we couldn’t keep up with everything and since it takes me an inordinate amount of time to write each post (I know, you’d never believe it!), sadly the blogs had to be binned for a bit.
This meant that I didn’t really get chance to thank you. To be honest, everything has felt so busy and overwhelming the last few months that I still don’t think I’ve actually absorbed most of it. 2020 was our busiest year by a MILE. We turned over about 3 times more than 2019 and the whole time we were doing it as safely as possible – what with Covid-19, each of us of course navigating our personal lives and like so many people, struggling with the shit that 2020 threw at us individually, not to mention that in the later months of the year we were trying to pack 800 orders, whilst distancing, with me being heavily pregnant – I think it’ll be one of those years we look back on and say ‘I don’t know how we did that’… even if we removed the global pandemic from the situation, I still don’t really know how we pulled it off!
But long story short – we got there in the end. After about 2 months of thinking we wouldn’t catch up we somehow managed to pull it off at the last minute and got 99.9% of the orders out! (If you visited the website at all from Mid-November onwards you might have noticed about a hundred notifications and updates saying ‘NOTHING IS GUARANTEED!’ which I think played a huge part in our catching up haha!)
So finally, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the support you’ve shown us in so many ways. For investing your hard earned money with us and placing orders, for trusting us to provide your loved ones with Christmas gifts or you with ‘lockdown knits’, for waiting for up to 2 weeks for some things to arrive (and in some cases longer!) for your understanding when we’ve got things wrong, for the cakes, chocolates and gifts we’ve been sent (I can’t believe you’re so kind to us!)
We have been absolute blown away by your kindness and support and you made 2020 an incredible year for us in so many ways. There were days when we would all cry in the studio because it was such a lifeline to be there (I’m not even joking, there was a week when I cried at work every day – some happy and some sad tears but doesn’t that just sum up 2020 perfectly?!)
Thanks to your support, we reached new heights as a business but you also kept us going personally, you gave each of us a reason to get out of bed when we were tired, to forget some of our troubles and enabled us to keep going and work as a team at a time when we each desperately needed it. We can’t thank you enough, honestly. We’re so grateful
– Thank you x
OK, before I cry, let’s move on to 2021 and start looking forward!
So I’m due to have an ACTUAL BABY in the next month or so (not just a pet I can dress up or like how I call my business my baby…. a real human. I know it’s true because they’re kicking me so hard I think I’m being bullied by them already)
I’ve been asked a few times what my plan is for Maternity leave and to be honest I still don’t have one. I’m just going to TOTALLY WING IT.
Important information for you >>> Lauren Aston Designs will still run as usual 👍🏼
Thankfully Team LAD are bloody glorious humans who do all the hard work anyway so while I’m off sussing out how to breastfeed and trying not to be totally grossed out by the umbilical cord dropping off (🤮) the LAD’s will keep everything running smoothly, I’m sure.
The only complication to this flawless plan is that son of a bitch Covid-19. 😒 Lockdown has obviously just been enforced again in England and we’re back to working remotely and solo in the studio to keep everyone as safe as possible. I’ll be going on my ‘baby holiday’ soon (that’s what we’re calling my Mat Leave) and the LAD’s will follow government guidelines and decide how best to work in the coming months, but for now – please be patient and kind. They are all gorgeous humans who are navigating home-schooling and survival as well as helping me with the business. (It’s a bit annoying because I know that if you’re reading this you’re one of the kind ones anyway, you don’t need to be reminded but I feel like I need to write it somewhere so forgive me for lecturing you and please pass it on if you see anyone being a dick)
So like I said, I don’t think much will change at all from the outside, Helen will still be on emails, Sally will still be packing orders in the studio, Claire will be in the studio (when Sally isn’t) making sure it’s all prepped and ready to keep us efficient, Chloe will still be taking beautiful pictures, and our lovely knitters will still be working on stock and commission orders. The main difference is that I won’t be there to ‘fill in the gaps’.
Again Covid complicates this slightly, OBVIOUSLY I’m hopeful none of our lovely LAD’s will be afflicted but should anyone needs to isolate for a while then normally I’d be able to increase my hours and fill in to compensate but now I won’t be able to. So, should that be the case then things might slow down a little. We’re being as careful and sensible as possible, following government guidelines (and common sense) and and hopefully nothing of the sort will happen but should LAD be affected, then you’ll be kept well informed.
But that really is a contingency plan, fingers crossed we never have to consider. In general, the things that will change while I’m on Baby holiday are:
- Postage Days: Assuming order numbers stay steady and don’t rocket then postage days will reduce to Monday, Wednesday and Friday to keep the team safe. You shouldn’t really notice a difference as they’re still very frequent and as long as we have stock in (which we’re optimistic we will) then the majority of orders will still leave within 2 days.
- Reduction of Ready Made Products: There’s a number of Ready made products that only I make and therefore they will not be available until I return. These include – Giant Knit Scarfs, Blankets, Tree Skirts & Wreaths. Once I’m back we’ll set them live on the website again and let you know so if you can wait a little while I’m sure they’ll be worth it 🤞🏼 in the meantime all our other ready made items are still available 😀
- IG might be weird: I’ve always managed my instagram account (which is why the DM’s are always a disaster!) I’m not quite sure how I’m going to work it while I’m on Baby Holiday as I want it to still be organic so don’t want to plan loads if content. I think it’s likely there’ll just be some baby content but I’ll try not to get too side tracked and I’ll stick with knitting as much as possible!
- Blogs: Helen and Chloe will be taking over the blog for a while, I think you’ll really love the content they come up with, I’m excited for you to get to know them better and I’m sure it’ll be a lovely change from my waffle.
On that note, I’d like to reintroduce you to team LAD so you can put faces to the names and see who everyone is…
Meet team lad
Let’s travel back to a blog earlier in the year so you can meet each of the LAD’s who’ll be running the show while I’m off…
Bye for now
So I guess it’s bye for now, I’ll be on Instagram still and I’m already looking forward to coming back to work (something I know how to do! haha) Helen or Chloe will be here with the next blog and we’ll be sure to let you know when I’ve had the baby! (WHAAAT?!)
Thank you again pals, (I can’t say too much more or I’ll cry AGAIN) You’re the best and I’m so grateful,