We now hit almost 5 months since Covid-19 hit Australia and as I write today Victoria is still in the firm grip of this pandemic. No one could have foreseen something like this and it has hit businesses across the country hard. The equestrian industry has taken a massive blow with competitions being cancelled in all states, people out of work and struggling to just feed their precious fur babies.
Late last year we had to make the decision to cancel our winter collection due to the situation with our factory in China, they were in lock down and could not guarantee when they would be able to send our collection. As a small business to have a winter collection turn up in September would have been a disaster so we had to trust our gut and cancel. Not having new items to sell has been extremely tough for us but we are hanging in there and are excited to have some new pieces coming in Sept/Oct.
We had a massive task at hand having to shift our production of the GN Merchandise over to Pakistan because of the Covid situation in China and the USD being so extremely high (Pakistan trade in AUD). This was a very difficult decision because we had never worked with Pakistan suppliers before and were unable to fly over there to check the factory and meet the owner/s. We had to put a lot of trust in these new suppliers. We hired an independent quality control company to check them out and the way the garments were being made and they seemed happy with the work and factories work ethics.
The day before the merchandise was due to fly to Sydney for the event Pakistan went into full lock down! We couldn't believe it because at this stage the GN2020 event was still going ahead! We were stuck and could not move the merchandise to Sydney. A few days later the SHCA decided to cancel the GN which gave us some reprieve however members that ordered their merchandise still wanted it and wanted it fast.
The factory we were dealing with were confined to their homes and we could not get in-touch with them so had to wait...and wait. Finally we managed to get hold of them and we began the task of trying to get the merchandise to Australia. All cargo planes were now completely full and freight rates had tripled, commercial planes were not operational and the only way to get the merchandise here as soon as we could without a HUGE freight cost was via sea.
Being completely committed to providing excellence in customer service we felt it necessary to call every member that had pre-ordered the merchandise - all 236 of them to let them know what was happening. This took us almost a week and we were so pleasantly surprised that almost all members were completely fine with the situation and were happy to wait for their orders.
The merchandise finally arrived end June and the SHCA are now getting orders out to all that pre-ordered. The merchandise is lovely and we feel extremely grateful to everyone for their patience and the SHCA for their understanding.
Due to the current down turn in business we have had to stop all sponsorship's and donations until things start to pick up again. We still have plenty of show wear for sale but sadly our casual line is almost depleted until our new collection arrives. Fingers crossed China does not get a 2nd wave :|
I have been running Giddyupgirl for 16 years now and have never seen anything like this, it truly is frightening. I personally want to thank all of our loyal customers for your continued support and hope that you can stick with us until we are back up and running again.
Please stay safe everyone, we'll see you on the other side of this :)
Tammy Raine - MD - giddyupgirl.