Our Response to COVID-19
In response to COVID-19, our team at Purple Urchin made the decision to temporarily closed our doors on March 15, 2020 to our physical shop. Our team made this decision before the essential service announcement was released by the Government of Canada. At Purple Urchin, we're activists at heart and when news swept in identifying the severity of the virus, we knew we needed to do our part.
HOW COVID-19 HAS AFFECTED OUR BUSINESS
COVID-19 has simultaneously had an impact on everyone's life and lifestyle. As a business we've also been affected. Shutting our doors at first was quite scary as a small business. We heavily rely on store traffic and in-store sales to keep the business moving forward. Additionally, we have many wholesale accounts with hotels, local restaurants and retailers. When our wholesale clients also began shutting their doors, another means of income came to a halt.
With our physical shop being closed and wholesale accounts on pause, we needed to adapt. Our team size shrunk, we are now a three (3) person team - female owned and operated. We have our owner, Rebecca, making all of our products. One staff member assisting with production - labelling products, cutting soap and working at our store fulfilling online orders. And our marketing manager streamlining core messaging through our marketing channels.
HOW WE'VE ADAPTED AS A BUSINESS TO COVID-19
Purple Urchin has been in business for the past 10+ years, so we're no stranger to flexing and bending with the business' needs. We're determined to adapt as needed in response to COVID-19 and continue thriving forward as both a business and team! Collectively, we came together to pivot our business strategy and identify what we could help combat the virus as a soap company.
WE'RE NOW SELLING HAND SANITIZER
Although, our soap can kill off the virus (when washing your hands frequently for 20+ seconds), our owner - Rebecca still didn't feel like she was doing enough. So the mad scientist got to work in our warehouse (located here in Ottawa), and developed Hand Sanitizing Spray in travel size bottles. We want to help further protect our customers and community from the virus - when having to leave their homes for essential needs. Our Hand Sanitizing Spray is made with 75% alcohol, following the World Health Organization (WHO) regulations.
WE'LL BE FOCUSING PRODUCTION ON SELLING ESSENTIAL NEEDS PRODUCTS
With a smaller team size, our one-woman production team is at full capacity. We've decided it is best for our team to stay focused on producing essential needs products i.e. liquid soaps, bar soaps and hand sanitizer. This may mean that some of your favourite products we make may be out of stock for longer than usual. Our team sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience. It is important to all of us that we do our part to continue producing products that can help combat the virus - protecting our customers and community at large.
HOW WE'RE KEEPING OUR CUSTOMERS, COMMUNITY AND STAFF SAFE
The safety of our customers, community and team are our top priority.
When our team is fulfilling orders for customers, we sanitize all products (that we can) before packaging them up for shipping. Our team member fulfilling orders regularly washes their hands to protect customers from the transmission of the virus. We always include free samples of bar soap with every order to encourage extra hand washing!
Our community is so important to us. We have had such tremendous, continued support since our earliest days, and it's important to our team to give back. In response to COVID-19, we have continued to support our community - providing bar soap donations to Parkdale Food Centre, the Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families, and to the nurses and healthcare workers at Orchardview Retirement Home. And we've partnered with local businesses - our Glebe neighbours, such as Eldon's Restaurant and Viens Avec Moi, providing their team with free bar soap samples to include in each of their customer orders.
As a small team, it's vital that we continue to stay healthy. We regularly check in on one another to ensure we're all feeling well - not showing any symptoms of COVID19. If a team member does, they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Each and every one of us is doing our part to #stayhome as much as possible and limit our exposure to the virus.