It’s been a long and challenging year. I’m someone who loves being at home, so not being around people has not been difficult. Not traveling this year has been a respite. Keeping a business afloat, with suppliers and factories closed and cancelled orders is another thing.
In 2019, we launched with our new Bio-Knit fabric, a polyester infused with CiCLO so the fabric will decompose naturally like cotton or wool when in landfill or seawater. It was a hit and sold out fairly quickly. I placed another order for the fabric in Oct 2019, which was done in January 2020 but I had to reject it due to poor quality knitting because of thread issues. We had to find a new thread supplier but then COVID hit and we were in a standstill for four months. By good fortune, our new thread supplier was able to provide recycled plastic bottle thread infused with CiCLO - which got me to my ultimate goal - a closed loop product. We got our first shipment of the Ivory Bio-Knit in early October and started shipping out orders in late October.
Our e-commerce business is what has been keeping us alive and it’s where we’ve been putting our energy, which leads me to our new website redesign. We are very excited to be launching a revamped site, with a slight change in branding. Our brand has been evolving since I created Junes and we’ve been trying to find our voice and style among the utilitarian bag that started Junes – the Everyday Tote (once known as The Mesh). This feels like a coming together of all the things that Junes has stood for - empowering, honest, contemporary and colorful. We love it and hope you love it too.
We also are finally launching our newest style, The Grande Tote. I was at my factory in LA in late 2018 and asked to have them make a sample of what is now The Market Tote. Something got lost in my explanation and the bag ended up being 3x as big as I expected. I laughed when I saw it but was actually happy to have a bigger bag to carry nearly two dozen bags to meetings. At one of those meetings, I walked in saying “This bag was an accident” and she followed with “A happy accident!” and the Grande Tote came to be. She is now my sales rep (Palo Santo Studios), trend advisor and great friend.
After a painful year, I know I’m still lucky. I still have the opportunity to have and run my own business. And no matter how hard it gets, I’m still incredibly thankful. However, watching the amount of plastic being used and discarded frivolously pains my heart. The environment has lost this year, and for the last four too. At least we are here together and united, working on our mutual commitment to closing the loop on plastic pollution and creating a more sustainable future. Thanks for being here.
p.s. Hiking and being in nature has been a refuge during this time.