MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 24, 2020

MERRY CHRISTMAS


2020. Woof!  

Did you see that brilliant ad that match.com made? Where Satan matches with 2020? They go on dates stealing toilet paper, enjoying deserted parks— it was a good laugh and overall, I've found looking back on 2020 with a comedic filter just helps it all sit a bit better.

One thing 2020 has taught us is that there are very few, if any, guarantees... at least those that are beyond our control. Ready for the understatement of the year? 2020 was ROUGH for retailers! A global pandemic taught us that it didn't matter if we came out with our strongest swimsuit collection yet, if travel is shut down. What do you do with your team if they have nowhere to actually work for the indefinite future? I vividly remember sitting at our kitchen counter with Dave after sending everyone home the first day of quarantine and thinking, "What now?". 

I realize that a lot of us are still asking this question. 

We had a few options on the table and yet the decision had really already been made. It was made 10 years ago, in Guatemala, when we were working at my parents' factory that had gone from 1200 employees to 12 employees after 2 years of weathering the second great depression of 2008-2009. I'll save the details but in a nutshell, we had over $100,000 of debt on our credit cards, sold everything and borrowed everything to try to make payrolls, and keep as many people employed as we could. Giving up just wasn't an option. It was out of desperation that Albion was born: to keep our team together, to keep my parents legacy alive, to prove that working hard and being kind could be enough. 

 

So we looked Covid in the face and we said, " Go ahead, close our stores, shut down our office, stop travel and close down the borders. We got this."  We got this because our team is resilient. It's innovative. It's collaborative. It's proud and oh, we've got ZOOM. :). Our company motto is, "We show up." And show up we did. There was no shortage of work for our team, in fact, those early months were marked by many-a-late nights and very, very early mornings, with weekend check-ins and middle-of-the-night brainstorming sessions. It didn't take long to realize that the trials of 2010, the very ones that brought Albion to life, would serve to give us the confidence we needed to pivot and grow during this next round of unknowns.

One other thing 2020 taught us, and honestly, I say this with tears in my eyes, is that our customers, yes you, you SHOW UP FOR US each and every day. Thank you. Thank you for remembering us, for your support on social media with comments of encouragement. Thank you for investing in joggers and lounge wear that you'd wear during those long days at home. Each and every order was absolutely PRECIOUS to us. We wrote many hand-written notes thanking you for choosing us when you had so many options.  To see names that we'd seen over the years show up on packing slips, again and again.. there's really no words to express not just what that meant to our company during a hard time, but what that meant to each and every one of us as individuals.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Somehow, amidst all this madness, between you, our loyal and fabulous customers, and our beloved team that is more family than anything else, we made 2020 our best year yet. And trust me when I tell you, that I say that solemnly and with a sober understanding that with that happy announcement comes a renewed commitment to give you nothing short of very best in 2021.   

 

With gratitude in our hearts, we promise to never take each and every one of you for granted;  to remember daily that it's because of you that we are here today. We will continue to strive to design with quality and purpose, clothes that enable you to feel safe and comfortable at home during times of uncertainty, during treasured memory-making with your loved ones, and during some of your greatest adventures, wherever that may be. You can count us to be here as a voice of positivity, of community-building, and support during your greatest accomplishments and your hardest times.  There is so much to look forward to in the days ahead and we hope to be there for you, as you have been here for us.

I'm not sure what 2021 will bring. But I do know that I'm bringing with me what 2020 has taught me: My family is my most treasured gift, that even in the darkest times, there is hope, that there are a lot of heroes out there, and that good lounge pants are the gift that keeps giving.  

Here's wishing a Merry Christmas, Happy New year, and a very, joyous Holiday Season to you all from our family to yours. You are loved. You are appreciated. You are perfect and wonderful just the way you are.

 



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