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SO. Desvalido has been running at a loss with no savings to fall back on for majority of this year so far. We were very lucky last year & like many online stores, experienced some really important growth which we used to level up Desvalido full force! We moved out of the house & into a studio, grew our team with 2 amazing part-timers Kat & Emilly, got through it & loved every second
Then in December 2020 things slowed down A LOT.
In April we parted ways with one of our two retailers which definitely didn't help the cashflow situation (we still love 'em though, sometimes things just don't work out)
Finally mid May after asking my parents to loan me studio rent money again, my mum insisted we go over the books & figure out what was happening
IT. WAS. BAD.
I cried a bunch, I knew we weren't that profitable yet with our grown-up business expenses but I didn't realise how far in debt this had gone. She asked me what I could sell to get out of the hole
I replied "NOTHING. UNDERWEAR."
I had a serious think about what it would look like to close Desvalido down for good, our lease is up in 7 weeks (7th July) which might be enough time to sell everything & pay back what we owed, it'd be better to stretch it out to December so me & my team can find day jobs & we could close up properly.
On Monday 17th May I told our team we might have to close in July, or hopefully make it to December & that SUCKED. We had a big talk about what I wanted to do, what they wanted to do, what we'd need to stay open at the rate we're going, what we can do to cut back costs, & how we can raise cash to pay back some serious debt. We watched some YouTube videos (this one first then this one just in case) giggled, cried some more, & decided to aim for December
That afternoon we told the mailing list & the internet, you've been so supportive & shown us a lot of love so far. I video chatted with our friend Kate & ended up on the floor crying about all the times our customers have told us they didn't love their bodies until they tried on our frenchies, & I remembered that same feeling from 7.5 years ago. I wholeheartedly believe we have many more butts left to dress, but either way I'm grateful we've come this far
I'm optimistic we'll be able to make it through til the end of the year, I have to make an informed decision by the end of the month & not just say "it'll be sweet, don't worry"
By the end of June we'll have a long hard look at the business to see if we can stay open, but if we can't, we start the long process of wrapping it all up. I hate thinking about it, not because it's too difficult but because it's super devastating.
If we close the business, we spend the last 6 months using up the fabrics what we have. If we stay open, we'll need to restock them. If we close, we can pay out debt by selling sewing machines & tables etc, if we stay open we have to make that money with orders. You get the picture
If you love what we do & would like to help us stick it out, we've written a list here. It's very weird asking for help, at the end of the day Desvalido staying open keeps 3 people in jobs (4 when we can afford Shannon, our casual again!), they've said it's a nice place to work so I'd like to stay open for both selfish & non selfish reasons :) We appreciate all the effort, nice words, & extra sales you've sent our way this week, thank you as always
xo Alana & the team