Where to start.
When COVID dropped in North America we were planning a big trip to Seattle for ECCC and Stanley's birthday. ECCC is one of our favorite shows of the year and marks the 'breakfast' of our annual finances, having survived with barely any shows or income for the winter months. We had been watching the news with trepidation, but it wasn't until the con was postponed that we really started to grasp how the world was about to change.
And then the schools closed. And then everything just kept getting weirder.
Now, we are learning to home school our little girls and staying home 99% of the time with our email filling up with show cancellations and postponements. Watching our income evaporate while the credit cards, still heavy with the winter expenses, demand to be answered. Reading our news feeds with unhealthy attention bordering on obsession. Missing our friends and family and life. Trying to figure out how to pivot our tiny family art business into this strange new world.
We are in an odd spot because we are self-employed and super tiny. Even though our income has taken a *drastic* hit we are ineligible for the relief money the Canadian government is offering, since we are still making *some* sales. I am still hoping they change the requirements so we might receive that badly needed aid, but not sure if they will change those requirements to our benefit or not.
We are doing our best to just keep doing the next right thing and move forward as best we can.
We are so grateful that we have an online store and presence up and ready. We totally understand we are in an enviable position in many ways and are trying our best to pay that forward by helping our other local artists get their web stores and IG accounts set up.
We know now is not a time to stop bringing people joy (which is truly our business) and are doing our best to continue bringing you adorable glass friends to brighten your home, home office and day. We are making more unique sculptures now than ever and offering them on weekly shop drops (Every Sunday!). Honestly, we are making some of the best work of our careers right now.
We are Twitch casting several times a week to connect with you and show you how our glass sculptures are made. Hopefully, we are providing a bit of a break, connection and entertainment during that time too. Find us here: www.twitch.tv/blingsquaredcuteglass
We are keeping our family and collectors safe. Our little island seems to be faring pretty well, but we are still taking social distancing very seriously. Neacol does one town run a week to ship and do our weekly grocery shop. Otherwise, barring the odd solitary beach or park walk, we are home, safe and secure and doing our part to help stop the spread.
We are as confident as we can be that we are virus free, but we are still taking extra measures in our packaging. Neacol is washing her hands and all shipping surfaces diligently before packaging orders and we understand that the virus can survive on glass for approximately 2 - 3 days, which is less than most shipping transit times. Paper and cardboard are only good surfaces for COVID for 24 hours, so if you are concerned at all, please simply don't open your cuties for a couple days after they arrive.
In an effort to minimize our contact, we are shipping one day a week right now only - so it may take a little more time than usual for you to receive your orders. If you have any concerns or a date you need something by (birthdays haven't stopped happening, we know!), please let us know and we will do our very best to get your order out to you on time for your special occasions.
Lastly, we are currently offering free shipping on all orders, worldwide. We are missing seeing our collectors at all the canceled cons and want you to have the ability to add to your collections without an added cost.
We don't know what the next months hold (honestly even the next couple days are hard to predict with confidence) but we are here, creating, shipping and live casting, teaching our girls and watching Tiger King with the rest of you, and I will keep you updated.
From our whole family, we appreciate every single order, kind message or "like" online. Our tiny family business has been so buoyed by your much needed support; our hearts explode.
Together we will all get through this. I hope we can serve up some cute glass smiles for you in the meantime.
Neacol and Stanley