While 2020 has had numerous unique challenges, the Cocktail Sneakers team has taken stock of the positives from 2020, that offset what seemed an ever-present dark cloud. We reflected on steps forward and invested in our community of sneaker-loving clientele that lifted us up with emails and direct messages sharing their love of Cocktail Sneakers. Those messages encouraged us to build a feedback and reviews section into our website---just one of many elements we tackled based upon feedback from Cocktail Sneakers’ community.
We noticed early on that with pandemic lock down orders, more and more women were ditching their heels. Elevated casual became the norm and we were delighted as women realized they were no longer relegated to foot discomfort and that classic, stylish dressy sneaker options do in fact exist! More women began to “ditch their heels” -- a growing trend that springboarded our business and resulted in the need to expand our team. Cocktail Sneakers welcomed additional sales and marketing professionals, bolstered our direct-to-consumer reach, and added to an already expansive list of boutiques, resort properties and pro shops across the United States that inventory our designs.
Cocktail Sneakers was also this year featured on podcasts, television, blogs and gift guides, named to Daily Mom's list of "Favorite Fall Footwear of 2020," and recognized by Forbes as a perfect holiday gift for travelers. A pivotal year for casual footwear, yes, yet an equally as important one for our small woman-owned and operated business too.
As our team looks to 2021, we are plotting new goals which include development and diversification of our product line to meet the needs of our clientele, as well as ways we, as women, can further support our communities as the pandemic hopefully comes to an end. Our optimistic outlook is driving us as we develop goals for the new year, some of which seem elementary in nature:
(1) Connect with people. As we have been unable to successfully socialize given pandemic lock downs and gathering size limits, networking with colleagues, friends, neighbors and even family members have been beyond challenging. Video and phone calls, emails and texts have replaced our everyday communication. Absent are the handshakes and hugs that many have come to value. One idea to add to our limited arsenal of communications tools is the handwritten letter. A lost art in our highly digital and technologically-rich environment, a card, note or small package can become a welcome and unexpected surprise. In areas where the weather is not brutally cold and patios are free from mountains of snow, socially-distanced fire pits complete with mulled wine or heated cider provides another creative way to safely rebuild relationships until we are freed from COVID-19's grip.
(2) Take time for yourself. When your mind or body needs a break, take one. Activities that help recharge including journaling, baking, hiking, snow shoeing, playing an instrument, meditation or even napping. Humans tend to want to busy themselves every minute of the day, however we've learned that by being still, we are able to derive a balance that fuels our creativity even more!
(3) Push yourself. Ongoing quarantine restrictions have limited much of what we can do. It can be frustrating and in some cases lonely, yet many have taken up new hobbies and experiences to pass the time. Online courses teaching new languages, coding, crafting and more are readily available. Try a new fitness regime using in-home fitness equipment such as Peloton, Mirror or Terra-Core; take a Master Class in cooking or business ownership; or teach yourself how to knit! Tackle outstanding home improvement projects or begin to plan a Spring garden. With the additional time, each of us has an opportunity to push beyond our comfort zone and experience new things that will enhance our lives in ways we perhaps could not have imagined.
On the horizon for Cocktail Sneakers are many special announcements which we look forward to sharing including design reveals, news, and special collaborations! If you aren’t yet following us on social, we hope you'll consider joining our crew of Cocktail Sneakers connoisseurs @CocktailSneakers (Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn). And, to help start 2021 on the “right foot,” we've extended our 20% off and free shipping offer through January 5, 2021 (or while inventory lasts!)
Cheers to the New Year! Best wishes for 2021!