SMALL BUSINESS PIVOTS TO SURVIVE - Inks Open Letter To Everyone
| Rocky Parrish
I'm usually one to always stay upbeat and positive. However I will be the firs to admit during this pandemic I've been tested.
I have children so you'd think I could crack easy, but I have seven children and while it's been a challenge, I've had to approach each child differently. The way I interact, the way I react and the way I act around them.
Yet, when you are dealing with grown up's during a pandemic, you can see the best of people and the very worst of them. I choose to focus as much as possible on the positive ones.
Positive energy is a great thing.
You try to be understanding of what other's may go through but at some point you have to let customers know they aren't always right.
ROCKDEEP pivoted slightly by retro fitting their footwear factory into a disposable mask production facility. The owner (me) partnered with an old footwear coworker who runs medical factories in Asia, to try and provide other types of PPE to individuals. Everyday people.
This quickly evolved into providing masks of all kinds, gowns, foot and head covers among other things to state and local governments, hospitals and front line workers.
What has happened since has been a whirlwind of unreal proportions.
We have sold over 500,000 masks in a little over 2 months. This includes disposable, KN95 and washable cloth masks. I could only hope to sell that many sneakers in a year.
We have had to smuggle in our PPE so the government wouldn't do who knows what with it.
We have had significant delays with customs, and of course that means delays getting customers their product.
This doesn't come without great consternation. Emails which read like this:
"Where's my masks?!"
"I know you are a small business but..."
'I want to support you because you are a small business but..."
These are the nicer lines.
I've even had random emails asking why I would playfully tell folks to F off if I had grammatical errors and they wanted to judge me. Something you must know about me, is that I am a laid back Alpha Male. I prefer to keep smiles on faces and if you are easily offended by words never read anything I write about again.
I used to have quite the temper but I went from attending anger management class to teaching it. I realized anger causes stress, and stress causes death. I have too many kids to leave this earth yet.
So I chose to stay and remain positive and focus on that. Mind you. I am no saint and will never claim to be one, but I believe helping your fellow man is an obligation not a choice. Something my parents instilled in me and no they weren't hippies. Just decent human beings with their own flaws.
So where are we as a company today? Working to make sure not just us, but ALL small businesses survive this crazy time. We like to mention that even if you don't purchase from us, try your best to support a small business period.
Please remember that when this has passed and the new normal is upon us, that we small business folk will need your support more than ever. It doesn't mean don't shop at your big spots because everyone working there needs to remain employed, but just know we are all fighting for scraps.
Until the collective unit of folks realize beyond politics, race and religion, we are all here trying to survive, we as small businesses can't do what's needed in our surrounding communities.
Sponsor local teams, or events. Imagine if there were no more festivals, fairs or little league games?
While you shouldn't feel sorry for me or any other small business you can't complain when we are all gone and you are stuck with choices you aren't happy with.
We are going to keep pushing by developing gloves which kids and adults can play sports in of all types. Yes we know some sports already have gloves, but this will be to cut down on spreading as much as might be spread before.
Stay tuned for that.
So in closing, I would like to really thank EVERYONE who is positive and understanding during these times. To those who realize it aint always easy and sh*t happens. Knowing that while small business appreciates your business, being told you could have gone elsewhere doesn't really feel like genuine support.
To those who will always complain, Ive learned over the years, that a frustration we may have legitimately caused in your life has sparked anger stemmed from something deeper within yourself. While you may take it out on us, we just take a deep breath and let you vent, and offer solutions you can either accept or not.
Just know that there is someone else on the other end of your ire who doesn't deserve it. I went to a High School in PG County Maryland called Oxon Hill and we were all built to handle customers who complain.
However not everyone is built for that and I'd just ask, not just for my people but others that you consider tempering your approach.
There is so much more to complain about in the world, but my father always said.
"If you can't control it, why complain....and if you can control it ... why complain?" I live by that.
I hope everyone is staying safe, finding gainful employment and realizing we should ALL be in this together. Some don't believe in masks, and thats ok. For them. But if you have good sense, protect yourself and others by protecting yourself.
If you got this far, we are offering a 50% sale off on Friday May 22nd and 30% off sale the rest of the weekend.
To get the promo code's check out our Facebook Page: ROCKDEEP
If you want to follow us on Instagram we are at @ROCKDEEPGLOBAL
Thanks for checking us out and don't forget if you can't find local small business find one period. We are out here.
For more great blogs from the CEO of ROCKDEEP just keep coming back here. If you expect the greatest of journalism this is NOT the place for you.
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