Coping with Corona
It was an amazing photo shoot last week. In many ways it felt like everything that is Knit with attitude – what it represents to me personally, friendship, creativity, drive and ambition, all melted into this one passion, the love for yarn and knitting. I was surrounded by this energy of achievement and pride, and I got to share this with the people that at this moment means the most to me.
There was this cloud, as we nervously made jokes and stopped shaking hands and give hugs. In a matter of days I was cut off from my family back in Norway, Jonna and Sini were visiting from Finland which suddenly felt very far away hoping to get back with ease (which they luckily did), our models come from different European countries as well, we were shooting in different locations in my neighbourhood, in small independent cafes and shops in a very international community, as this pandemic hit Europe the atmosphere changed.
I found myself grabbing for my knitting needles this weekend, there is comfort in every single stitch. Monday was a very bright and sunny day here in London, the schools are still open, and I heard the sound of the ice cream van and it felt somehow strangely reassuring.
The creative industries are often characterised by the over weight of female business owners. My theory is that this industry provide opportunities for those that fall out of or doesn't fit into the 'normal' working life, many of us have been told to give up, but through passion and resilience, yarn shops, independent dyers, independent yarn producers, independent designers, independent makers have created their own work, their own businesses, their own worth! When meeting other professionals in the industry it has always struck me how many of us it is that come from struggles; medically emotionally, physically and/or psychologically. Many of us, including myself, are what is now known as 'at risk'.
In the last 10 years Of Cabbages and Kings and Knit with attitude have survived a global financial crisis, a double-dip recession, 4 elections resulting in 9 years of austerity, 25% of high street shops closing in the UK, the turmoil and uncertainty of Brexit, and 2020 kicked off with no less than 3 storms in 4 weekends, and we said “But hey! We’re still standing!”
We are certain we will come out the other side of this crisis too – if we all pull together and the government pulls its finger out and supports small business in the best, quickest and fairest way it can.
Sadly, after a very testing few years most small independent businesses don’t have buffers, savings or potentially even insurance policies to protect them when everything comes to a stop. We can’t close while expenses are still running. Many of us are facing the choice between protecting ourselves or our businesses, the consequences of shutting being so great most of us will choose the latter. Therefore we will stay open as normal for as long as we possibly can. However, we want to assure our customers that we are doing our upmost to protect both our customers and our staff.
We have reduced to a skeleton staff and only those who are symptom free are coming in. We are also trying to arrange travel so staff can avoid public transport and work from home. Those who are using public transport are travelling off-peak and away from crowds. We are sticking to a vigorous hand washing routine, using gloves at the counter, and all surfaces are being continuously wiped off. We would also like to encourage our local friends to use our pick-up in store options online as it will help reduce the physical contact between staff and customers. KWA customers get a 5% discount too!
In the next coming weeks you we will no doubt see shops slashing prices and conjuring special offers they probably can’t afford. Our plea to you, if you are in a position to, is to choose the independents, be conscious about the purchases you make – it really can make a tremendous of difference. Think small!
Another thing you can do to show your support for the cafes, stores, restaurants, beauticians etc you know and love through this tricky time is to purchase a gift certificate, either in store or online. Then, once all this all this has settled down, treat yourself or someone special with your gift card. We are currently compiling a list of links to local businesses in N16 with gift certificate options. Click here for further details.
Eventually we will be asked to close the doors. Please continue to support our online shops. We will have staff in place to wrap and send orders as normal, as long as the Post Office is open.
All events and workshops are postponed or cancelled as of today. We are very aware the need for community, support and friendship in these challenging times, and we are currently working on virtual alternatives trying to find suitable solutions. Stay tuned – as we will use our social media to inform about this.
And most importantly – be kind and stay safe!
There is comfort in each and every single stitch.