As a small, independently owned business we're struggling, like so many others, with sending out our email communications and instagramming like it's business as usual, when things could not be more unusual and stressful. We've made the decision to keep in contact, largely because a store has to try to sell things to stay afloat, but realize that everyone’s tolerance levels are going to be different right now. Our attitude is shop, don't shop, let us be a distraction, let us know what you think...No one really knows the "right" way to behave in a pandemic (thankfully) so we'll forge ahead with the best of intentions and share some of what lies ahead for Kindred Black.
A month ago we would have joked about the size of our company. Constantly striving to make the next milestone, achieve the next goal, salivating over the kinds of numbers that we read about in the trade papers – we would have downplayed what and who we are and wished to be something else. Just a few shorts weeks later, with all that shut out by being simply grateful for our continuing health, we’ve taken another long look at the business and where we actually stand at this defining moment.
Kindred Black came from nothing. We’re not wealthy and connected nor are we models or celebrities. We’re two women that stopped taking pleasure in shopping because of the careless packaging and thoughtless way that so many goods are produced. When we launched in 2015, Alice and I had been staying together for over a month so she could keep me up all night working (I’m notorious for ghosting after midnight if she’s not there to brow beat me into staying awake). We had flipped the switch on the site to “on” before going to bed and awoke, mentally and physically exhausted but excited to see what was happening in the cyber world. We dragged ourselves back to our computers to find...well, let’s just say a business opened in the woods and there was no one there to hear it. But looking back on that five years later in the middle of the worst global crisis that we’ve known in our lifetimes, we’re pausing to take some pride in what we’ve grown and the efforts that we’ve made to stay connected to the people that make Kindred Black a reality.
The two of us still see, appreciate, even celebrate, every single order that comes in. We still hand write every note that goes out in your boxes, even though as we grow this can take a couple of hours. Not because we’re passionate letter writers but because we still, five years in, feel so thankful that each one of you found us and thought enough of us to shop with our store over the thousands of other options at your fingertips. There is still some of the joy and incredulity of the first sale we ever got from a stranger every time our phones alert us that a sale has come in.
Now we find that our size is an asset because it has allowed us to quickly reevaluate what we can do to navigate this new world and we’ve been hard at work over the last week planning ways to update the store and keep things exciting under challenging and limiting circumstances. Just some of the projects already underway are a line of trials and minis of our Slow Skincare line, a trio of masks in paper envelopes so you can try before you commit to a favorite, luxurious and interesting options at entry level price points, and an already in the works line of basics that will feel sexy and look amazing in your living room and beyond. Though we have fears, anxieties, and moments where we want to throttle the people we’re quarantined with (smiley face?), we’re throwing ourselves in again headfirst, with the same energy and purpose that we had in those early days.
The future is still out there and we’re beyond grateful to be safe, healthy, and still working to carry Kindred Black forward into brighter days. We wish the same health and safety to you and your loved ones and implore everyone that can stay home to do so and to please not socialize in person. By coming together to stay apart, we can get this thing licked and get back to business as usual.
– Jennifer and Alice