During these strange and uncertain times we wanted to give you an update on what's happening with us, and to check in with all of you. We realize that the weeks and months ahead may be difficult and stressful, but we also have a fundamental belief in the basic kindness and decency of most people, even in times of crisis. We have been watching in awe as health care professionals, essential service workers, emergency responders, and so many others, that are willing to put themselves in harm's way in order to help all of us. It's humbling and inspiring all at once, and we want to acknowledge and thank them for their work and sacrifice.
We also wanted to update you on our situation and updated procedures and how they may impact your experience with Funusual Suspects and shopping with us during this time.
1. Several weeks ago, we moved locations to a new house that also has it's own attached production, storage, and shipping space for the business. Before, I had to leave my apartment to go to my office and production space, and then home again every night. Now, everything is under one roof and I work completely from my home and garage space (attached). So, I've been self-isolated now for more than 14 days, only leaving for absolute necessities (drive-thru prescriptions, grocery pickup). While it's, admittedly, been hard to focus for the past few days with all that's been going on, I have no other barriers to me carrying on with work. I have no symptoms and have literally not been within 6 feet of another human being since my self-imposed lockdown began.
2. I've always been very conscious (borderline OCD) about germs and cleanliness, and while it may have seemed overboard before, I'm very glad I have developed those habits now. I naturally wash and moisturize my hands multiple times per day, but that has even increased now. I'm fastidiously clean, disinfecting all my surfaces at least 3 times a day, and my work surfaces at least twice as much as that. I have a small backyard, so my dog, Absa doesn't have to go out to the street, but even when he comes in from outside any time, we disinfect his paws and give him a wipe down. Our CEO, Morrie the cat, has never been outside in his life and has no desire to do so, so he's pretty smug about everything right now.
3. I not only like to keep things clean but also very organized. So, any deliveries or items brought in from the outside get wiped down and then put into their own isolation area for a day (if possible) and are always wiped down and disinfected again. Also, I've pushed my shipping times out a little on my clay planters, because even though they are baked after I make them, I want to give each package a few days in its own quarantine area before having them picked up by USPS outside. All packages, and their contents, are cleaned and disinfected before they go out.
4. My parents are only 5 minutes away (also self-isolating) and my grandparents have now sheltered in place in their apartment a few minutes away. My grandparents are especially vulnerable as they are both in their late 70s and my grandfather has multiple underlying conditions. We are all taking this very, very, seriously. I'm here at my place by myself with my two pets, but my husband and partner, Trevor, is Canadian and was waiting for his visa to come work here when all this happened, so he is self-isolating up there for now with our other dog Huey. We are very lucky that we can both work from home and stay isolated, but it's been tough to be apart through this. We all video and call and text each other all the time and spirits are high. We're gonna take every precaution we can to try and keep everyone safe through this.
5. Because of how we run our business, we make our big investment in materials, equipment, inventory, etc in early January, and we did the same this year. We may start to run out of a few things that we need to get specialty printed and ordered, but overall, we've got everything we need to keep running and keep sending out a little bit of joy into the world. So, because we can't do much else right now to help, we're gonna keep doing that.
We realize that people are going through a roller coaster of emotions and expectations right now. It's nerve-wracking, to say the least. But we also realize that people need encouragement, laughter, hope, and joy right now, more than ever, too. So we want to be a part of that. As people have birthdays, online graduations happen, Mother's Day approaches, and more, it might be difficult to go visit or see our loved ones and to celebrate or commiserate with others during this time but that people still want to share and commemorate those moments. If we can be a conduit to sending a little bit of light in a dark time, we'll do our best to keep doing it as long as we can.
So, we have some plans for the coming weeks and months to try and help create even a little more joy in the world. First, in the next little while, we'll be releasing free digital downloads of some of our coloring book mandalas and maybe a few new ones as well! Also, we're putting the entire shop on 10% off right now to try to give you a little break while we figure out some other sales and get some promotions and stuff in place. Speaking of promotions...we'll be doing some giveaways in the next few weeks so keep an eye on our social media channels for that. Also, we've got some brand new stuff that we'll be releasing in the next few days so stay tuned. And, we'll be donating a portion of our sales to a few home-based mask makers out there who are donating to doctors and nurses in need.
We hope this gives you an overview of where we are, and what we're doing during this strange and difficult period to keep some sense of normalcy going and stay as steady as we can, while still keeping ourselves, and everyone else, as safe as possible.
Thank you, everyone. We truly love the community we've built over the past few years of such amazing people. Makers, moms, kawaii girls, punsters, cuteness fanatics...you are all so precious to us and we all have something in common: we love to accept and share joy and laughter. You are our kinda people and we'll be here, trying our best to brighten your day or to make you smile, even a little bit, through all of this. Thank you for your continued support, concern, and care. Love you all.
From all of us - Dani, Trevor, Absa, Morrie, and Intern Huey: take care of yourselves. Be safe. Be well. Try to find or make a little joy every day.
The Funusual Suspects
Here we are in the season of spooky, so I decided to go ahead and do something kooky!
I just finished an all new Halloween Mandala coloring page that is available for free download now! It's a PDF so it'll print beautifully virtually anywhere, or you can import it to your favorite drawing app so you can color it digitally. It has the same format and size as the 30 sheets in our book, Coloring Kawaii - Mandala Magic ~ Volume 1, so it will fit the same frames, and has the same test area. You can find the link to download in our online shop here. If you already have a Shopify account the click thru will be immediate and the cost is $0. If you aren't, you just have to go thru the checkout, but again, the cost is $0 and you'll be emailed the PDF a few minutes later.
Thanks to everyone who ordered our new coloring book! And if you haven't yet, we still have a few copies of our first printing available. The premium coloring sheets of meditative mandalas in the kawaii cute style make a great gift too.