Entrepreneur Alex Hendeles talks about the impact of the coronavirus on small businesses, and how he is staying positive in these uncertain times.
About Unsimply Stitched
Simply put, I love Unsimply Stitched socks.
I’m wearing a pair of their kangaroo socks as I write this.
Alex founded Unsimply Stitched in 2011 “with the hope of being able to support the growth of the ever expanding sock revolution” and providing men with “a large range of design and colors on a constant basis,” as he told me in 2013.
Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on Unsimply Stitched and other small businesses
I asked Alex about the impact of the coronavirus on his business and community.
Alex observed that these are uncharted territories and noted that every business—small and large—will be impacted by COVID-19.
“The whole landscape of the retail environment has changed drastically overnight, but we are optimistic that our country will bounce back stronger with heavy demand,” he said.
His approach at Unsimply Stitched has been to remain positive, aiming to keep the morale of his workforce in good spirits.
“Early on we made the commitment to retain all of our employees,” Alex said.
His office staff is working from home, while his warehouse facility is taking extra precautions to protect staff and customers.
Like other entrepreneurs, he pointed to continued work on new collections and brighter times ahead.
“We are continuing our planning and designing process for upcoming seasons, which we look forward to sharing with our loyal retail and wholesale customers when the time is right,” he added.
As a direct to consumer retailer, Unsimply Stitched is hoping to keep business going as people develop their Work from Home wardrobe.
Alex told me that,
Our company spent and will continue to spend time promoting our direct to consumer avenue of purchase. Over the years we have seen a large increase in our website sales, including our sock subscription program. Additionally, our loungewear business has grown substantially since it launched three years ago.
Unsimply Stitched’s loungewear “offers a stylish and comfortable alternative to pajamas while everyone is working from home and social distancing.”
Supporting Small and Local Businesses
I asked Alex how customers can support Unsimply Stitched and other small and independent retailers.
Here is what he said:
We are big believers that businesses of all sizes need to support one another during this challenging time. Together, we can weather the crisis and get back moving faster once we are able to get back to our normal lives.
We promote supporting your local restaurants and shopping online, not only at the larger department stores, but also on direct websites.
The good deeds we do now won’t be forgotten in the near future.
While we know that retail shopping may not be a top priority right now, we want our customers to know how important they are to us. During this time, we are running site wide promotions every week, as opposed to every other month.
We want our customers to know that even a small purchase is greatly appreciated.
If you are in a position to support small and independent businesses during this uncertain time, it’s a good time to do so. I’ve been inspired by the positive messages from entrepreneurs who are keeping a good attitude and trying to do right by their employees and partners. Post offices are open, and UPS, FedEx, DHL and Amazon are still delivering.
And, after all, everyone needs socks.
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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