I am not sure anyone will look back fondly on the year 2020 but I hope it will be a year we look back on and are proud of what we achieved in the months where no one was allowed out.
At County Fabrics we were like every other business, so uncertain of where the business would end up once lockdown was over, but there was a steely determination to make the best of the situation and keep the business ticking over using our website, social media and skills of our creative staff members, who were able to create soft furnishings from home. We had historically not been a business that had relied on our website for business, but knew it would be a crucial tool in keeping us going.
Something wonderful happened, we started receiving orders from not only the UK but from all over the world. Our little shop in a tiny village in central Scotland had become international!
We were getting orders from Australia, Europe and the USA. People were searching for specific fabrics, colours, patterns, uses and also fabrics that would tie in with their surroundings. One example was a lovely customer from the Oregon Coast who was over the moon to find out we stocked ‘Otter Biscuit’ fabric and was delighted as her home is beside a river full of otters. She was determined to get the fabric during lockdown and we made it happen for her. We can’t wait to see the finished product.
We also discovered that with the right usability our website is a fantastic tool for people who live a distance away from our shop or for times (like now) when people cannot come into the shop to look at fabrics in person. They may not be able to touch the fabric or see a hanging length but the website is a starting point which can then lead to a telephone consultation, samples being sent, creativity fills the air and then finally a choice of fabric is made for whatever project you have requirements for whether it is made to measure curtains or blinds or re – upholstering a favourite chair. The website is a starting point.
Among many conversations over the last few months we especially loved this one…..
‘Choosing from a website and then a small sample is not as easy as being in your shop, browsing the fabrics and then seeing one in a long drape and beside a window. Your website is excellent and you made it as easy as you could, but not the same. Had I made a mistake? I would not know until they were hung and if so would just have to live with it. Delighted to report that it works; they look splendid. We will live very happily with these curtains.’
We are really proud of how the business has functioned over the last few months. Now all we need to do is keep up the momentum!