Dear Customers and Friends,
Just as I’m sure you have, my family has done a lot of adjusting in our daily schedule since the start of the pandemic. First, the schools closed down, so our 6-year-old daughter, Seraphim had to be home-schooled. My wife Anja now works 30 hours a week from home as a Children’s Director for a community church while also making sure Seraphim gets through all the assignments sent by the teacher. Damien, our 3-year-old, has endless energy and was a little sad not being able to go to his daycare lady. As for me, the beginning of the pandemic meant long hours alone at the store, and feeling generally quite anxious.
About mid-March, all our suppliers stopped production due to government regulations, and I really thought all hope was lost! However, after further thinking I realized our store still had lots of inventory that was left over from the previous owner. So, our marketing consultant and I worked on developing some new ideas to focus on what we had instead of what we lost. In addition, since about 80% of all sales up to this point had been made-to-order, there were customers phoning for furniture and deliveries to be made. Maybe there was hope...we got to work!
Since custom orders were in limbo, we decided to use this time to rearrange our showroom and focus on selling what furnishings we already had in stock. We also updated our inventory system, our website, and did a ton of cleaning and sanitizing! I also started doing more social media. Recently, the good news came that furniture stores could be open again, following some new procedures, and were pleased to say that these have been fairly easy to accommodate in the scheme of things.
At first, I enjoyed a couple of weeks of feeling absolutely wonderful to be back at work. All suppliers had begun production again, our landlord gave us a 3-month rent deferral, and our marketing team also re-outfitted their home offices with some of our lovely new furniture too - so with a little teamwork, we were on track
Then, another curveball. After returning from the US to select furniture for the coming season, June 8th found my family testing positive for COVID-19! So, we closed the store completely for a second time to isolate at home for another two weeks. I kept on working from home, making changes on our website and handling customer service phone calls. Fortunately, COVID-19 was no more than a flu for me personally and mild symptoms for the rest of my family. For that I am very thankful. I definitely imagined something worse!
But after an extended isolation that lasted most of June, I am back in the store. It's been surprisingly, happily busy! I guess the rest of Calgary still kept opening up.
Signature Fine Furniture’s outlook is great, and we look forward to Albertans braving this new world and stopping by for a look at our great selection of furniture. We have a clean, well-spaced, and beautiful store waiting for you.
And, if you choose to shop online, we are easily available by phone or live-video chat to show you the features of any pieces you have in mind.