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.
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.