For those who got in touch with me for "speaking to your students", I am sorry for not responding yet, but just wanted to let you know to reach out to me in Spring. This is the busiest time of the year for most small businesses as we are gearing up for the huge holiday season!
Today, I want to share with you what happened on our very first black Friday! As you all know, black Fridays and the days following that are the biggest and most important days for any small business. These days can make or break a small business. But, for our very first one, we were definitely not prepared. Pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong. This was year 2016. We had started our adults clothing line just a few months before and we were trying to grow our kids collection. We were flooded with orders. However, we were on Wordpress platform at that time (we have hence migrated to Shopify platform for our website) and it stopped working. The backend had major issues that didn't allow us to see the orders coming in and hence we could not ship them on time. We ran out of our best sellers as we didn't anticipate how many orders we would get. We decided to offer gift wrapping without realizing how time consuming it would be for a three people team. It was chaotic for sure, but we came out of it and were absolutely better prepared for 2017. I will get to dealing with different issues as we progress through these stories.
The year 2017 was a rough one for me personally. In the summer of 2017, on a morning when I was getting prepared to go to the airport to pick up a shipment, I ended up having to take my son to the ER where he was diagnosed with Leukemia. The next three and a half years were just in and out of the hospital for my family. Now that I am past that phase, I like to look at all the positives that came out of that situation. I learned so much about childhood cancer, about a world I had no idea about. I decided that I was going to do something for all the kids going through this dreadful illness. I made a t-shirt every year to raise money for research. Once I realized that I was not raising enough, I collaborated with my factory to create hospital gowns for these kids. I had first hand experience with how uncomfortable the hospital gowns were. Thanks to all of you, I managed to donated about 200 hospital gowns this year during the childhood cancer awareness month. I hope to continue doing this in the future. My wish for next year is to raise enough money to sponsor Make-a-wish trip for at least one kid. I know what an impact the trip had on my son's well-being (that's another story).
I have always believe in giving back. I believe that if every business would give back to the world, the world would be a better place. Since I started my company, we have always done this. We raised money to donate for many different causes. But, all small businesses depend on their customers during this time of the year. So, I sincerely hope, you will support small businesses for all your shopping needs during the holiday season.