This letter was originally published in email on April 5, 2020.
I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy.
I've tried writing this message from about a dozen angles. I've gone in one direction then another, but scrapped each one so far. I guess it feels like all of the directions kind of suck right now due to the situation a lot of people are in.
Some of you have lost your job, had hours cut, some have been furloughed, some know someone who's ill (we do), some of you have been ill yourself. With all that, it's hard to even write anything—since I don't think I've ever been in a position to write about an event with such a situational range—from frustration to working from home to mourning the loss of a loved one—and not sound trite to at least someone (or worse, many).
With that said, I'm going to try. Please forgive me if I fail. This is new to me.
During this time, we do want to help and we are going to do all we can to help in the ways we truly know how. Which, to some, might not seem enough and others, be just right.
So, between making sure our company is prepared to weather a storm of unknown length and magnitude, we've been taking time to brainstorm and gather what knowledge and resources we have that we felt might be helpful and don't cross into areas we don't know much about.
For instance, we recently shared an article on how to deal with dry hands (hand sanitizer can really do a number on them.) Which you can find here.
We understand though that for some of you this is valuable and for others, you can't even get hand sanitizer because it's sold out.
The resource that I want to share today is our Internal Guide to Working from Home.
On March 3rd, we directed all Bay Area team members who typically go into our main office in Berkeley to work from home because of a reported case in the area.
As a company, we'd already been moving the majority of our team to a complete virtual environment, so this wasn't a complete shock to our systems, but we know that some of you might be dealing with a new way of normal when it comes to working.
Our guide was created internally to help our team thrive and have a unified understanding of what it means to work at home and how to make it better. We include resources on different tools and platforms we use, best ways of communication, staying productive, and keeping the team connected.
We know that this may not be the solution for juggling working from home and watching your kids or managing other responsibilities during these times, but we do hope that it provides some support.
Home/work life for Annmarie and I, now involves homeschooling, flexible schedules, children handoffs, overcoming frustrations and getting creative about how to keep the kids occupied. It's madness at times, though there are some gems—like Hudson, Basil and I are learning Italian on Duolingo (totally free).
Our team is doing things like family yoga mornings with their kids, an increased amount of catching up, and we've also set up Zoom calls for all of the parents' kids to get to hang out and meet each other as well.
We'll definitely be sharing more of how we are all adjusting and anything we learn along the way.
In the meantime, you can get our guide here free of course, and use it for your benefit. If you're a business owner, please feel free to use it as your own internal document to help support your team members. If you know someone who you feel would find it valuable, you're more than welcome to share it with them as well.
Again, if this is valuable to you, I'd love for you to have it. If not, we have more things in the works that hopefully will hit on a need of yours over the next few months. Please know that we're listening and are doing our best to adapt during the rapidly evolving circumstances of the next few days, weeks and months.
I would also like to note that during these times, as a business, it's been difficult to manage how we continue to sell skin care without coming across as insensitive to the current situation. I want you to know that we are doing everything we can to support our team and keep the business alive, all while supporting our customers and making sure we're adapting as best we can to all situations in this wildly unusual time.
If you'd like to share any feedback or have any ideas, please feel free to respond to this email.
Please stay healthy! I'll be in touch in the next few weeks with more…
We, at Annmarie Skin Care are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, just like you—so in addition to creating the best natural skin care possible, we are committed to creating a better, more sustainable—and in turn, more beautiful world.
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