Every New Year’s Day, my husband and I bring our 3 girls together to create our action plan for the year. We list in writing some things we want to change, review last year's goals and accomplishments, and then pronounce our one word theme for the upcoming year. My word this year was metamorphosis. Who knew a few short weeks later we’d all be forced into an actual cocoon?
As a person who has suffered with anxiety for years, this was a wonderful thing-at first. My family was safe. My eldest daughter has a congenital heart defect so her college moving classes online was a blessing. I was already homeschooling my younger kids, so no real change there. My husband works from home and was switched to virtual meetings only. No problems at all. But that was only my initial reaction because you can’t hide forever.
What would happen if we stopped emerging butterflies? Stay with me here, it is a stream of consciousness, so it may be messy. That’s the position I find myself in now. Maybe some of you can relate. I began this business because I had found a way to solve a skin issue my daughter was having and I happen to live in a place that allowed me to turn that solution into a small business. After years of hard work- and that’s an understatement, we re-branded and were on the verge of something great. That was the end of 2019. We were all hopeful then. Fast forward to 2020 and a crisis during which my company’s product could be a blessing to others has become a nightmare of being regulated out of existence.
The cherry on top? The big “A” retailer is removing small businesses from the online platform who make personal hygiene products because they can’t guarantee their effectiveness against Covid-19. Well, they never could and don’t need to now. Microbiologists have done that. Hand-washing with soap is one of the best defenses we have not just against our current pandemic, but also against seasonal flu. Soap hasn’t lost it’s effectiveness, but retailers are shut down and have lost the marketplace to big “A”.
Back to pre-emergent butterflies. Do we take this opportunity to allow our choices to be consolidated to what that big “A” retailer decides? Stay in a cocoon so to speak? Some may. What I’m suggesting is a focus on emerging as something new. We don’t need to have shortages of soap, or sanitizer, or be told by Ama- I mean that big “A” retailer, that your purchase of a certain product is not essential for you while they pump the market full of inferior goods from another country, even though we are all impacted by the same virus.
As members of our communities, this is our metamorphosis moment. We mastered being caterpillars, right? Americans are amazing consumers, we gobble up all the things; but what we are meant to be happens after the consumption and cocooning. We can be a catalyst again. Find ways to buck this ridiculous, bloated, overreaching system and start making things again. Buy things that are made well by people you know. Sell things that you make better than anyone else. America used to supply the world and now we have to beg manufacturers to sell to us from overseas? No, we don’t. Buy well, sell better, buy F’ing local so you never run out again and know that local producers like Wildly American, most local farms, local artisans, makers, we never ran out of goods to sell you. As we begin to emerge, find your local sources and create a better system by supporting local infrastructure.
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.”