When COVID went down, we had a choice at Adored Boutique.
Rest in the negative, or rise to the challenge and figure out how to show up. For me, the plight of the vulnerable people we seek to empower through our buying and giving were foremost in my thinking, closely followed by the faithful women who support this small business.
I asked myself, how does our business, determined to be non-essential, show up in a non-salesy way to support my people AND, at the same time, not lose everything we have been building for the last 3 years?
Adored Boutique Gift Sets
My inspiration and answer to this came in the form of Adored Boutique gift sets! As I saw it, I had a whole bunch of product that could either sit on my floor and collect dust for months on end, or, could find a home with someone who would feel blessed by a gift and/or a really great deal. I opted to build gift sets with products already in my inventory and sell them for slightly over my cost.
This allowed me to re-coop my initial investment so that I could pay cash for my fixed expenses and to bless people, during a difficult time, with an amazing deal on our ethical products. What started as “send a friend a blessing” sets, expanded into Mother’s Day and Birthday gifts and then into Spring style sets.
I could not have anticipated the level of support that came out of this decision. The ongoing support of established and new customers allowed me not only to accomplish my original objectives but, to re-invest a small amount into our artisan groups. It felt tremendous to be a part of our partners’ efforts to continue supporting their vulnerable artisans!
From texts and emails with beautiful encouragements to generous financial gifts, everything they have done has inspired joy in me. All of their efforts have brought an unexpected affirmation of how people feel about what Adored represents and the work we are trying to do. In a season where I wanted to bless my people, they ended up blessing me more than I ever could. It’s hard to articulate what their support means to me, but it has left me very humbled and grateful.
With incredible gratitude, as we learn today that we can safely re-open our doors; I am blessed to be exiting the shelter in place season having incurred no additional debt. While there has been no profit available to contribute to our local partners who are fighting human trafficking, I believe those who have supported us will remain faithful and we will see that change soon.
Despite the many unknowns and new challenges small businesses will face, I am choosing to keep my lens present future oriented. I hope that businesses who have found a way to give to those in need during COVID will continue doing so. I hope that as a culture, we come out of shelter in place with a commitment to the same value for human life that we demonstrated during those 10 weeks.
I hope that this value for life gets represented in our decisions to not contribute to exploitation in the garment industry or any other industry. I believe lives and hearts have been transformed and I am excited to see the outcomes of that!
Emily Smith, Owner
We wrote about Adored Boutique’s inspiring mission here. Check it out to learn more!