To say that 2020 has been a crazy year would be the understatement of the century. Who would have ever thought as the clock ticked over to 2020 that only a few months later we would be locked down in our homes as the whole world faced a global pandemic?
For us at Good Thing (and so many other small and large business everywhere) it has been a year of massive upheaval, big doses of resilience and tapping into eternal optimism… but also of giving up control and learning to be okay with that!
2020 has seen massive stock issues as clothing manufacturers in particular cancelled summer styles and saw production run later and later as the countries where they manufacture endured terrible effects from Covid and long lockdowns. Add to that huge disruptions to shipping routes and air freight and it’s been a real game changer.
None of the following takes away from the fact that it has been a super hard year for so many people for so many reasons, but for us these are the GOOD things we will take away from this year...
More than anything we came together to support our community and for them to support us. The number of customers who flocked into Good Thing after the Level 4 lockdown ended - just to support us to make sure we survived and thrived, who told us how much they loved having us in the neighbourhood and how they hoped we were ok, was extremely heart-warming and humbling. Thanks to all our beautiful customers, near and far, we HAVE survived 2020 and are determined to go from strength to strength in 2021.
We had to give over control and just go with whatever came our way, duck and dive, make decisions on the spot then change direction again, try new ways of doing everything and work super hard to pull it all together. We offered local delivery, shop at the door, virtual fashion shows and foraging videos, kombucha lessons, reading recommendations, and regularly updated window displays for those out on their Covid walks. All these things helped keep us connected. Getting through this year has been an exercise in adaptability and it is such a valuable lesson for life… that old saying comes to mind ‘Grant me the courage to change the things I can change, acceptance of the things I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference’. This year offered big lessons in courage, acceptance and wisdom.
Behind the beautiful products on our Good Thing shelves are more than 100 suppliers large and small and what was so heartening this year was the great support that came from our suppliers, who offered payment terms, messages of support, and general understanding. Going forward we will hold a special place in our hearts for those who showed the kindnesses larger and small that helped us get through the worst of this year as a business. And of course our amazing team who stood by us and supported us all year. Where would we be without them.
Being a Kiwi
We have been so lucky, luckier than basically any other country in the world, to be able to live almost freely for most of this year, as so many other countries have been battered by Covid 19 and hamstrung by lockdowns, fear and division. We are lucky to wake up every day to enjoy our freedoms.
Keeping It Local
As an independently owned local store we are total converts to the ‘shop local, shop small' movement but it’s been super heartening to see the country turn towards this more and more post-Covid. We have such an awesome country and such creative people, it’s fab to see people holidaying at home more, getting out and seeing NZ, and likewise supporting local makers, creators and business owners. Ka pai fellow kiwis!
So many people have taken stock of how and where they spend and this can only be a good thing. Our customers often say they are thinking about their spending and who they want to support when they open their wallets. Lockdown gave us all the chance to think about which businesses we wanted to see survive and thrive and then commit to supporting them with our purchasing power. The concept of 'use it or lose it’ became very real.
Quality Over Quantity
We see this increasingly at Good Thing - people want to buy right, they want to know that their spending is not adding to pollution, wasting precious resources, supporting unethical work practices or creating waste that will head to the landfill before long. They want to know that the products they buy are ethical, sustainable, and have a life beyond them. That they can be treasured, repaired, handed down, and passed down.
Mother Earth Got to Take a Breath
With all the Covid shut downs we got to glimpse what the world would be like if we can stop so many of the polluters that we have accepted as part of everyday life. It gives us hope, we can work together and we can save this beautiful planet we are so lucky to live on.
Back in Sync with the Seasons
Because of the delays in clothing production over 2020 the summer clothes have actually come in summer this year. We have got so used to the weird concept of summer clothing starting to come in winter - the beginning of July! - before we’ve even sold our winter knitwear, so it’s been really nice to be realigned with the actual weather.
Lastly, It’s About People
What are we without our people, the ones we love and cherish and value, whether it be our families, our neighbours, workmates and friends, the ones we value in our community, the ones who lead us well. 2020 has made us realise that people are more important than anything, and that we as communities and as nations can still pull together to help each other, even the people we don’t know. Putting people first is always the right choice and 2020 helped remind us of that in the most extreme way.
So here’s goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021, let’s hope it brings a calmer more peaceful year for people, less grief and pain on many levels, but also that we go gently into the new year, taking with us the humbling lessons of 2020 and with our new perspective try and build a better future together.