Less Take - More Give
We remember the day that everything stopped, Monday 16th March at 8pm, listening to the Prime Minister's announcement and hearing that life would change drastically from here on in. Quite possibly for the future too.
The FatStick team chatted a few days later about our direction. What to do? Where we were going? What our next step would be?
We weren't able to claim any of the relief that was due to be announced by the Chancellor, we had a container arriving at the dock in a matter of days and we had boards already in production...what should we do?
The team decision was unanimous. We were going to do the right thing.
Lockdown was going to be a very testing time for people. Having to stay at home, home schooling, being alone, not having garden or access to outdoor areas, being vulnerable, being 'at risk'....the list of those affected seemed endless. But, as always with FatStick and who we are, we chose to turn away from sales. After all, what was the point in trying to sell you something you couldn't use?
They were there - we left the selling to the website and took a different path.
The benefit of having a 'Family' and not just 'customers' is that Family look out for each other. They care. They choose to help. We've taken great care in nurturing a FatStick Family for years now and this has seen other brands who have joined us in this ethic.
Moving from customers to their own brand family - and it's nice to see.
With Lockdown underway, we decided to utilise that world of Instagram and in particular, Instagram TV (IGTV). Creating a channel to produce a FatStick Series known as 'Lockdown Learning'. Rather than pushing boards and selling with 'special lockdown offers' which seemed a little immoral, we turned 180 degrees stopped 'selling'.
Our world was now focussed on trying to occupy the spare time a lot of peeps would now have.
Up stepped the Family and smashed it out of the park;
- Sam Rogers - Photography/Van Conversions
- Heather Leary - Yoga
- Andy Large - Creating Lanyards
- Dale Mears - Craft/Creating/SUP at Home
- Rosie Wilding - Fitness
We're are on a roll and we see this becoming a regular slot, even after COVID (hopefully) becomes a distant memory.
Raising Money & Awareness
This started by getting Andy to shave his head for the fantastic charity that Andy supports, Solent Mind. Then it grew into a bit of a monster and blew us away.
Reuben, Andy & Sam all decided that a Charity Auction was our next event. No financial gain, 100% of any money raised would go directly to the NHS Charities & Solent Mind.
What to auction? Well now, that's kind obvious! It was obviously going to be an inflatable paddle board. It was decided that Andy would go 50/50 with Reuben and Sandbar SUP & FatStick would give away a board that was opened and unused from Andy's SUP School. Sam would be giving away one of his large seascape prints.
It was on!
Charity auction announced, rules written, it had started. We'll be honest, we had hopes of raising £250-£300 - little did we know that someone would come in with 5 minutes left on the auction and take it from £500 up to £1000. That along with an epic £55 bid for Sam's print - we had a healthy £1055 from the auction and £70 from shaving Andy's head (generous when you consider the lack of hair he had😉). A big thank you to Andrea Bealey for bidding on the print and to Andrew King for bidding on the iSUP. Andrew initially chose to be anonymous, but after a few emails, Andy (Warner) thought it would be nice for Andrew (King) to be recognised for his fantastic act of kindness.
It was a very good day at the office.
What Have We Learnt
There are things that haven't changed and they won't - things such as the FatStick Family and our focus on not using people as a sales stream. The fact that we won't forget our values and the fact that we are and always have been producing boards for all. We'll never be millionaires, and that genuinely doesn't bother us. What we have is a brand/job/living that we are luckily enough love working for and with - that is worth so much more!
The changes - using all our social channels in a more diverse way. Engaging with more than just SUP and facing forward to the future.
We are very lucky - we have an incredible Family and this is something we will never take for granted.
You lot are legends!