In January 2020, after looking at many buildings and speaking to every commercial property owner in Sackville over the last five years, Anointment signed a lease to move from our 160 sq. ft. home-based production space to a 400 sq. ft. dedicated space. By June 2020 it was obvious this move was not meant to be for reasons related to the pandemic. A huge, grateful thank you to the Sackville Commons Co-Op for their flexibility in allowing me to exit the lease.
For years I was focused on “when we move”, “when Anointment automates”, and “when we get big”. Friends remind me of the years when my youngest was a pre-schooler and how my entire timeline was based around him starting kindergarten. He will be starting Grade 4 this fall and here we are. As business rarely follows a linear path, Anointment has been no exception. We’ve had very promising years followed by a decline in sales. We’ve had huge opportunities that look so promising only to fizzle out. And this year, a pandemic.
For the first few years, my office was inside that tiny 160 sq. ft. production space. Over time, I set up a make shift office and packing/shipping centre in our living room, setting up a folding plastic table, then a second one. For two years Heather and I worked side by side at this folding table, which was always meant to be temporary “until we move”.
The mindset shift that has come with the Covid-19 pandemic, and the uncertainty around the upcoming school year has brought into full view what needs to change and what is working well. I have been working alone since March, and being in close proximity to my family has been a huge benefit as I’ve been able to direct them with their school while keeping up with orders. Working from a home-based workshop has benefits, in that it allows for flexible scheduling. I start my work day at 6 am most days since the pandemic began, and sometimes even earlier prior to the pandemic – particularly while I was preparing for our move. Those early morning hours are my favourite, and most productive hours.
I’ve decided to lean in to working from home. I’m going to retire my folding table and buy a proper desk. The plumber is coming today to look at installing a commercial dishwasher in my workspace, which will free up a lot of time washing dishes by hand – small efficiencies. Not having to focus on a renovation has allowed me to free up mental space to think about product development, and I have some promising ideas ahead! I’ve also been able to teach my kids how to pick orders (retrieve the products and prepare them for shipping) – they’ve learned a lot about how Anointment runs and have been extremely helpful, skills that will hopefully serve them well into the future.
Estelle will be coming back next week to help with production and plans will be in place to stock up for the fall season. Ingredient and packaging shortages continue to be a challenge, we will all have to adapt by thinking much further ahead for stock than we are used to. A benefit of working from home these months and having my hands on every single product, and every single order, is that it has solidified that Anointment is here to support you in your transition to new parenthood and postpartum recovery. This is why you come to Anointment, and it is my pleasure and my privilege to be able to support you in this way.