Founder's Note: Life as a Small Business Through the Corona Virus Pandemic
Note: Originally I wrote this as an Instagram post but found it hard not to condense, so I'll continue on as a blog. The last blog I wrote was when we just opened PARU a year ago.
Firstly, when you support us you also support all the small family owned tea farms we work with around the world - so THANK YOU :) This is what we have set out on doing, to able to support small local businesses like you have supported us.
What prompted this post was that I received a few 2020 spring teas today and reminded that we're all in this together with a big THANK YOU written in English and Japanese. as I opened the package. Amongst the stress and uncertainty of living day to day - I'm also grateful that we live in a digital world where being able to connect through emails and messaging is possible. AND that we're considered to be an essential food and beverage service. Grateful to be able to still ship you all the tea, something so nourishing and comforting especially in times like these. I'm set on writing everyone a handwritten note on every order we receive as a small thank you.
How has life been? Well.
I think as an entrepreneur it's kind of scary that it takes a life changing event like a pandemic to be forced to step away and literally stop what you're doing. In a nutshell pre-COVID-19, I was getting ready to celebrate our big three years as a business in May (benchmark!) and planning my wedding in April (now postponed). Now in a matter of a few days, I'm worried if my parents have enough toilet paper and on my list to do is, is to call them everyday to make sure they're not going outside unnecessarily.
But of all the things that has happened thus far, I've been well. I've felt really lucky to have such a supportive community. One of the reasons why I wanted to have my own business was to have control and actual dialogue and connections directly with our customers. Though we don't have control of these circumstances, we're able to make the best of it and find ways to thrive.
My perspective has changed to reorganize my time and priorities when things get back to "normal". It's almost like hitting the reset button even if you didn't ask for it. PARU was built mobile, as a fully functioning online store. We're able to hosting online tea workshops and sessions. Successful businesses have to be dynamic and small businesses have to act quicker because they wouldn't be able to survive. We've also been active in supporting our communitea, wholesale partners that are in less fortunate situations than us. Our hearts go out to them and we want to be there for them as they've been there for us.
So, Thank You. We're taking it a day at a time.
My mother-in-law reminds us, "Be aware, but don't be afraid."
Cheers + stay well,