When you think about online shopping a few things always come to mind:
For me, a glass of wine, KAYTRANADA in the background, and high speed WiFi are all I need for a session of spending my coins in the virtual space. You would think online shopping in the modern economy would be sustainable enough for all consumers to enjoy the luxury of buying the items they need right from their living rooms but despite it being 2020, COVID-19 has made it very clear that a lot of businesses (established and emerging) need better infrastructure to meet the demand and supply of their customers and stockists. Leaving us all: inconvenienced, overwhelmed, and stressed.
If it wasn't hard enough before mandated quarantine, buying Black seems damn near impossible now. Between major brands finding new ways to spotlight the beauty of Black and what seems to be like an over-saturation of people finally thinking consciously about where their dollars go, consumers and small businesses are feeling the impact of our current global crisis. This means things are sold out, shipping is delayed, and in what seemed like a desert before for Black owned, there are now just way too many options to make an informed choice.
The pressure to buy black, while exciting, is in fact a lot of stress to place on growing brands. Simply put, a lot of businesses are not ready for e-commerce. With more people finally acknowledging the need to support Black business, small businesses, much like BLKDMND, find ourselves facing a double-edged sword of naturally being front and center while at the same time not having the method to the madness of keeping up with increased demand, online presence management, and possibility of processing returns in a 'COVID' friendly manner.
Our first hand experience with not only launching in the middle of a pandemic but trying to keep up with overwhelming support of our friends + family plus extended network, BLKDMND has seen both sides of the coin as a consumer, ready to purchase despite the delays and as a business keeping up with certain concerns like health guidelines of packaging, social distancing, etc. Similar to many of our strategic partners, the pandemic has taught us that we can celebrate record numbers of sales during this challenging time but also get caught in the awkward window of backorders, sold out notices, and shipping delays that can make shopping Black appear to be not the ideal experience.
Just know...if you are reading this blog post it is not too late. Black businesses still need your support and as we work to find that happy medium of changing our processes & evolving with the new arena for 'Black-Owned', BLKDMND and other businesses rely on your patience AND patronage to keep our vision and missions alive. As our commitment to you is to make buying black a simple solution, we ask that you no matter the case make buying black your first option and remember that the struggle of the crisis is felt across all areas of your shopping experience down to what may seem as small as the packaging and shipping labels.
During a global health and racial injustice crisis, BLKDMND has learned ALOT. We are doing our best to social distance, pivot appropriately when we see delays with sellers, and stay up to date on our inventory and restock needs. It has been a STRUGGLE for sure but the importance of buying black is one that we cannot let fall by the wayside. While #buyblack is trending now, remember that this lifestyle choice is not easy and we are most definitely not a trend.