Contemporary womenswear brand Paisie is stocked online at Wolf & Badger, Silkfred, Atterley, and at independent boutiques across the UK and Europe. Its founders, Vicky Ng and Kate Yiu, tell Drapers scaling down their spring collection as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak has had a massive impact on all areas of our business: wholesale, online sales, marketing and sampling. In these uncertain times, we have to react quickly and be prepared to take all necessary measures to save our business, until the economy is back to normal again.
In terms of wholesale, we are currently dealing with cancelled orders and late payments. Right now, it’s very difficult to plan ahead for autumn 20, and we are hoping that we don’t have to reduce our production too much. Our products are made in China, and we have a slight delay on production because of the previous lockdown.
Luckily, our factory is located in an area that isn’t affected too much by the virus. It is a small, family-run business, and they have been very understanding and supportive over this period of time. We really hope to be able to support them back by placing a healthy order, which will help keep both of our businesses going.
We are even more unsure about our spring 21 collection: when it will be launched and how it will be presented to our wholesale clients in July. We are still hopeful and working on sampling, but we’ve already had to scale the collection down, which is very disappointing.
We are cutting costs wherever possible, which includes having to cut down on our digital marketing budget on Facebook and Google. Before the virus, our reach and sales were increasing thanks to them. It’s a huge setback for us because our digital marketing results were on the up before the virus happened, they were helping us reach new customers in the UK and Ireland.
Fortunately, our online shop is still getting orders, and we are grateful to our loyal customers who are supporting our business during these unprecedented times. We are a small independent business and the customer support is really helping to keep us going.
We are also incredibly grateful that our fulfilment warehouse in London is staying open during this difficult time. We are able to fulfil orders despite the reduced number of staff. Our warehouse is doing everything they can to create a safe environment and avoid transmission of the virus.
The picking and packing team are working at reduced hours and with less staff in the warehouse. They’re following health and safety guidelines such as distancing and frequently washing their hands. If staff travel in by public transport, they are being encouraged to travel outside of peak hours to assist with social distancing.
Even though we are working from home and social distancing, we are keeping ourselves busy. We’re actively seeking ways to help to fight the pandemic and contribute to society, by both signing up as volunteers for the NHS.
We are currently producing handmade and re-usable non-surgical face masks in our home studio, which we have recently launched on our website at cost price for £5. The demand is high and growing, and we have received a lot of really lovely feedback from our customers.
At the moment, our online store is running a normal service: we haven’t seen a reduction of orders, which is very lucky for us. That’s why we’re doing the non-profit masks. It’s our way to contribute to the community and to say thank you for our customers’ support.
We hope this little act will help to slow down the spread of the virus. We are also looking in to helping in a bigger scale with the free time that we have. Coronavirus has set us back in terms of our progress, but in the long term, it will make us stronger as a team and as a company. After all, we are all in this together.