Let me skip the pleasantries (because frankly, nothing is very pleasant right now anyway)… and jump into the big ask. I haven’t made an ask like this since 2011, but here we are.
Small Businesses Are In A Dire Situation
Life on the ground is grim for small businesses. Many of us will shut before this is all over, because almost no small businesses have the cash reserves to survive a month, let alone multi-month shut down of the economy. (Our friends and loved ones in food service, or who own restaurants are all terrified, and many have been laid off already.) Here at APW, we depend on the constantly whirring wheels of the wedding industry, and those wheels have ground to a dead stop in the past week. This company is my baby (it turns 12 this week), and I care deeply about the amazing team we’ve built here. Two weeks ago we were set up for a particularly good year, with a ton of upcoming projects in the works. This week, like so many other business owners I know, we’re wondering if we’ll make it to the other side of this. We’ve slashed our budget by nearly 50%, and I’ve slashed my personal pay at least that much, and am currently trying to figure out if I can take it to zero. (David has a pretty secure job, we’ll make it work). But I’m up at night, every night, worrying about keeping my amazing team together, and keeping as many of them as possible employed, keeping their VITAL health insurance, and continuing to make APW happen… both in the depth of the crisis and on the other side of it.
Please Consider Supporting APW (And Our Other Projects)
SO! If APW (or the other various projects we’ve brought into the world) bring joy to your life, if it’s something you care about and want to see continue on, we would love your support. And by love, I mean “cry tears of joy, because that means my team can get hours and continue to get health insurance when they need it the very most.” Every $3, or $7, or $10 matters. $15 to $25 is roughly an hour of work for a team member. We’re in an unprecedented crisis, and the only way we can get through this is together. (I’m paying every spare penny I have right now to other small businesses to keep them up and running.)
But right now what I care most deeply about is connection and service. So when someone on Instagram suggested I set up a Patreon (I almost cried), I quickly realized that what I wanted to offer was Zoom calls. Places for people to connect (as we’re locked away in our houses) and create the closest we can have to “real” Happy Hours. So that’s what we did. We’ve put it under The Compact brand, because the thing we’re trying to save is about more than weddings. It’s about womxn in community, and all the projects we’ve been able to create and want to continue to create over the years. So if you have a stable job (or just an extra few dollars to spare this month, please consider supporting us. I hope that we have supported (and challenged, helped, provoked, connected, and so many other things) many of you over the years. And in this moment of sudden crisis, we would love a bit of your support.
An Awful Week
It has been a truly awful week. Awful. There is no other way to describe it. Our team is split between Northern California and New York, two of the hot spots of the coronavirus epidemic. While last week we were focused on helping people figure out if they needed to postpone their spring weddings or not (spoiler alert: seems like that’s a yes), this week we were trapped in a crisis of our own. Oakland went into shelter-in-place on Monday night, all of California and New York have since joined the club. Beyond that, I’m monitoring my high-risk mother daily, and family members of close friends have begun to fall ill. Add the crashing stock market, and the economy here grinding to a nearly complete halt, and news that schools are unlikely to re-open to the fall, and it has been like entering a living hell. And beyond ALL that, my sister is in overloaded spinning out of control ER, that has completely run out of personal protective gear. She tells me, “I knew the risks when I signed up for the job,” and “I’m young and healthy, so if I get this I hope I won’t die.” In short: it’s bad here.
But that’s my living hell. I know many of you are going through your own, and I invite you to share all of it in the comments.
But mostly: thank you, thank you, thank you for all of you ready to help your favorite neighborhood feminist wedding/ relationship/ life blog and community, as we try to survive these trying times. Take care of yourselves, friends.
My sister reminded me last night that this is really, really, really serious. Take every precaution, no matter how silly they seem. Don’t put yourself at risk if you can avoid it. If not for you, for our front line workers risking their lives.
We Love You All,
P.S. Amazing resources have started to roll out for people and businesses in need here in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’d like to purchase (or request) a gift card for future use from one of your favorite eateries or bars you can do that through Save Our Faves. KQED has a fantastic section of resources and articles that they are constantly updating for readers as well as a post with emergency funds for freelancers and creatives (some of these are inclusive of event industry pros). And if you have money to spend, PLEASE consider spending it with small businesses and local restaurants (even if that just means buying gift cards.)