As we say goodbye to what can only be described as “The Year of Challenges”
Our Director Karen takes some time to reflect on lots of things that happened for Angels’ Share Glass
In January we were pumped up ready for 2020 It was going to be THE year! How many businesses said that to their board members and their employees!?!
We had renewed visions and goals we had a plan a strategy and were so positive, there was no way anything was going to stop us….
We welcomed Loren to our team and we had pretty much all aspects of our small business now covered in our team of 10. I was hugely looking forward to leading the team through this new found path.
But by February things were starting to rumble about this somewhat unknown virus or form of flu coming across the globe.
Covid19 became a thing in March and in one fail swoop we were looking at a very dark and uncertain path.
We took the decision to furlough staff early on and gather ourselves together on how our small (but growing) business was going to get through this inconvenience.
So just like that… in April …during lockdown I found myself almost alone in the business and doing it all myself again , it was like being a new start up business again and so we had to start thinking like a start up again.
The team were safe at home either working from home or listening to the endless news coverage and itching to be back at work.
This quiet time allowed me to bring out my creative side and so The Angels’ Share Spirits Glass was fast forwarded into action and with the help of other glassmakers able to work from home we created the New Product.
It was brave because at the end of the day we had no idea if we’d have any customers left to sell this new glass to.
We also look at new collaborations and we formed a new partnership with ragproper glass hipflasks.
Also during this time I was gaining and learning my skills by undertaking a course with the institute of ecommerce. Suddenly Zoom, Hangouts, Teams and much more virtual meeting settings was a normal daily occurrence and so the world got that little bit smaller
We were able to meet with clients and customers all around the world at any time of the day.. it really was exciting that I could set up a meeting and we could all have a good old rant about how we were handling covid protection and our businesses. Business Networking was ramped up via our hugely beneficial Scottish Business Network and before I knew it I was doing a video blog for Scotweek in LA.
The Spring and Summer weather was kind which meant many were able to enjoy being outside and lots of thinking time for all employees.
We welcomed 2 new non exec directors to our team in April also Steve and Nigel were coming onboard as very knowledgeable and trusted advisors to Angels ‘Share Glass and while we kept Tom safe and sound at home they really provided invaluable to our team plans and vision.
The lockdowns really tested my own resolve and thankfully my tenacity allowed me to pivot, switch and re-think how we could all sail through this stormy forecast.
Once summer was over we already had planned to make Christmas one to remember. People couldn’t visit our usual outlets to get their Angels’ Share so we had to get our glassware direct to the customers and this was a huge boost to our business.
We now were able to operate on platforms like Etsy and Amazon on a global scale and our stocks we had harvested in 2019 for our bumper 2020 year were all put out around the world. We got to engage with our customers much better through video and social media and suddenly we realised
Things have not gone without their ups and downs and the coronacoaster was very much prevalent this year.
Our staff all came back full time in the Autumn and helped shape this new way of working.
Don’t get me wrong we had some real head in hands moments , We had packaging stuck in ports , we lost two staff members and some very important collaborations with other brands, we had issues…. But we rolled our sleeves up and would not lie down to this.
In October we did our first ever virtual trade show in New York NYNow, it was an experience and a half and with help from our US brand ambassadors Bethany and Dave we secured a new partnership with US online shopping giant uncommongoods.
Our brand presence now in the US is one we are really proud of. There are still millions of fabulous customers yet to discover us but we are slowly building our own identity and brand in many countries around the world.
With the whisky industry being a saviour this year in producing hand santisier as well as whisky – I made my first investment in a cask at Holyrood distillery – I also never managed my trip to Isle of Raasay Distillery or to My annual pilgrimage to The Spirit of Speyside Festival. Thankfully my own Fife Whisky Festival went ahead the week before lockdown, but many more had to postpone to next year we were so lucky.
I’ve also joined the membership of the exciting new development in Stirling The Wolfcraig Distillery I cannot wait to see this fabulous wolf pack grow.
This Christmas has seen huge demand for our glassware and we cannot be prouder of what we have achieved in this year, during this craziness and with almost everything stacked against, this small businesses and female lead one at that is walking tall,
Our Christmas advert was a huge hit and our youtube channel is now starting to hold some wonderful insight into our company and it’s journey.
Our passion and resolve most definitely have been a winning factor in reaching the end of 2020. So now with renewed hope and a vaccine we look forward to 2021 and how our business can continue to deliver quality, passion and fantastic service for our customers all over the world.
I’d like to thank everyone of our customers for all your support this year and I we hope to continue to offer our first class service to you for many years to come
Karen Somerville MD
Happy New Year when it comes.