Caption: Family Owned Business: Annie Morhauser, Ava Reinhold, Sadie Phillips
I am humbled by the outpouring of support we received from all over the country this year. Thank you sincerely. Santa Cruz county is such a wonderful place to live and work, people have been so genuinely caring.
Our COVID-19 lockdown started on March 17 and like so many others, our lives changed completely. I didn’t know if I was going to lose everything or everyone but I knew that I wasn’t alone.
For the first and only time since 1983 our kilns, factory, wholesale, ecommerce, retail store, wine and Craftbar closed for 2 months. Everyone went on unemployment with no clear idea when or what we might return to.
We were a company of 23. Only 7 started back on May 11 when the Payroll Protection Plan came through and permitted us to reopen- to no orders, big bills for gold shipped while we were closed, and a palatable fear for our futures.
The managers and I met the week before and walked through the building noting every single touch point and eliminating as many as possible- closed the lunchroom, no coffee or fridge, each person received their own mask, bleach spray bottle, then medical grade alcohol, gloves, lab coats and goggles. We followed newly assembled industry guidelines coupled with our own common sense but nothing could alleviate the fear of failure.
That first day was so frightening. I could taste my own doubt. After all, my degree was in glassmaking, not epidemiology. The stress of this added weight of responsibility did not ever let up. Nor did the guilt of not being able to bring the whole crew back to work.
On the first day back, I remember putting all 6 chairs out at a social distance with names on post-its on each seat so no one would touch it. We were all so afraid but we were also so committed to handling this new challenge. We had come though many difficult times before.
Our customers throughout the United States and throughout this region cared about us and let us know. Thank you sincerely from myself, my family and staff and their families too.
May you stay safe and continue to practice healthy habits this holiday season.
- Annie M.