So much has changed in the last eighteen months.
So much has changed that many of us find it difficult to find a sense of normality. It's like we are learning how to live again after an abrupt halt.
The situation keeps changing globally, locally, weekly, daily, hourly - so much information, worry, silent screams, so much uncertainty and so many questions.
It has been a wild ride with new heights and new lows, new ladders, steps, holes, whirlwinds, bridges, mud puddles -you name it. It has been going at great speed, no time to acknowledge- just react! No time to analyse - just react! No time to be scared - just try to cling on!
And it seems the ride has slowed down, do we have a moment to breathe and look around? Enjoy the view?
When is the next scary ride starting? Is it around the corner, is it now, or is it later, or was that it?
More questions. More uncertainty.
But we are feeling dizzy, beaten and slightly nauseous. We want to get off. Now is the time to take that leap of faith.
A giant leap of faith with our eyes closed and hope for a safe landing.
Because we can make a plan, whether it will go as planned is another matter.
We started CorkTrend back in 2019 when life was still "normal"
We had our normal jobs, normal lives, a normal house, normal holidays, normal friends and a big, maybe not so normal plan. But normal enough for us.
We were moving to New Zealand for Christmas 2020 and this wonderful country was going to be our home for the future.
As some of you may know, half our team is kiwi.
Which brings us to the idea of CorkTrend and why our first branded product is flip flops - jandals in New Zealand.
Everything about our brand was created with NZ in mind and this is where CorkTrend was going to serve the people and the environment. Or at least where it would start from.
We were to take it slow, showcase the material and its potential, engage people and put cork back on the table- for a better world and a greener future.
Little did we know that the universe had other plans and early 2020 you all know what happened!
The world came to a standby, it was in shock, it was scared.
We all were.
Thinking about that time all that comes to mind is ALARM BELLS ringing, flashing lights, ceiling spinning, floor dangerously approaching.
We lost our jobs, this lovely house that we spent two years renovating is amazing, but it isn't ours.
We lost our jobs. Our house is in New Zealand. This is not our house. New Zealand is closed. The world is closed.
Bang! We hit the floor, but the ceiling was still spinning.
The boat -someone shouts - get on the boat!
Alarm bells start to die off, we have a lifeboat! Literally!
We are moving to live on a boat. Just for the summer - it will be awesome!
New plan! CorkTrend is becoming a pop up shop on a boat. Increase range, invest redundancy, cling on. The ride is on, we are gaining a bit of a view. Summer on a boat- marvellous summer. Maybe, but you really don't want to know more...
We are going to New Zealand for Christmas, so all good.
November 2020 - New Zealand is still pretty much closed. Lockdowns keep rolling, darkness, bad news, boat is leaking, bedding is wet, everything is muddy, things are getting low. Batteries are bust, alternator bust on Christmas day..
People are wonderful, they try and support our little dream of CorkTrend, which we desperately cling on.
We have a few online sales, not allowed to pop up as deemed non essential. But few people did care and we are forever thankful.
CorkTrend survived to see a second summer as a cute pop up shop on London canals.
Summer 2021 was definitely better, we grew a bit more and had wonderful feedback.
We met amazing people and made new friends. Not all was bad when the sun was shining.
It's now November 2021
New Zealand is still very much closed, but it is definitely time for us and CorkTrend to get off the boat.
One winter was enough.
If we can't make it to New Zealand now, we'd rather wait elsewhere for that day.
Waiting on a boat for eighteen months was long enough.
We would like to thank everyone that has supported us and our small business one way or another through this ordeal. To all the wonderful people who stopped for a chat or to play with our furry members of staff Kai and Storm. Bless them, they are also tired of being boat dogs.
We would like to thank the whole boating community for their welcome and friendliness.
You people rock and we admire you and the lifestyle you have chosen.
It has taught us so much about sustainability first hand! Resourcefulness, resilience, time management, critical thinking and half a degree on boat engines.
CorkTrend will continue to work online only for the moment, so rest assured you can still enjoy our products.
You can shop on our website, Facebook or Instagram shopping, delivery in the UK is free and we are currently running GREEN NOVEMBER event with lots of discounts. Plus, we plant a tree with every order placed during November.
As to where we are going after the boat, check back to find out in our next blog.
It will be a big journey, yet another one, but we feel ready and hopeful. Or maybe we are just numb already.
We are taking a giant leap of faith - CorkTrend is branching out in Europe and we hope to announce the big news early next year!
Wish us luck!
All our best wishes and thanks for being part of our journey. For a better world.