Hi re-souL friends. If you are reading this, then thank you so much for taking the time. Sometimes we write these posts and wonder, will anybody really read this? It's been a while since we have done a blog post. I'm feeling a little rusty, and a little vulnerable as I write this update. How are you? We all miss seeing you.
I can honestly say that in the 18 years we have been in business, we have never experienced anything quite like this weird period we are all experiencing right now. Not in the shoe biz, not in retail in general. Those of you who have been shopping with us for years, know that we specialize in importing unique European footwear. Especially, shoes made in Italy and Spain. I have always prided myself in picking collections that were special, handmade, that were distinctive, and especially hard to find. Back in the 2014 we imported our own house brand. A risk that was exciting and scary but, ultimately the right decision to make. It helped us grow and move forward in an increasingly difficult retail environment. ( Amazon anyone? )
But, importing well made, expensive shoe brands comes at a cost. A very expensive cost at that. We prepay for the production, the duties and the transportation. We are solely responsible for making sure everything arrives just right, that the quality is what we ordered, that the shoes get to Seattle safe and sound. Sometimes we have made mistakes. ( Have you seen our $30 table of shoes? If you haven't, you can score some great deals on flats and pumps! )
The majority of the time we can handle the process of importing shoes, in a normal season, we can make it happen. But, not right now. Our supply chain has been compromised, the factories have taken a huge hit with COVID. Because of the travel ban, I can't fly to Italy to attend the trade shows and work with our suppliers. The cost of travel, shipping and transportation have gone up in recent months. We can no longer take that big of a risk. We need to pivot.
Until the economy stabilizes, we are going to take a pause from importing shoes and try to find unique and fun items closer to home. We will be changing our mix up a bit. Don't worry, we'll still have shoes, maybe not as many. The important thing for you to know, is that we will still have our own brand of style and flair. We will still be re-souL. We'll still be us. Wait until you see what we have in store! Pun intended. ;)
Our hope is that things will change for the better in the next 6 months. Staying on our toes is what we entrepreneurs are all about. Pivoting is completely in our wheelhouse. Until then, we can only hope that you will continue to shop with us. That we continue to surprise you in a good way, whether you visit us in Ballard or shop with us online. We will be here to help, to chat and to participate in our lovely Ballard community.
Please take care of yourselves, we hope you and the ones you love are safe and sane. Legh, Katie, Paris and myself hope to see you soon!
xoxo ~ Maggie