The Elephant In The Playroom
UPDATE: On 3/20/20, we temporarily closed down our factory, where we assemble and ship Nuggets, for the protection of our workforce and our community. We'll be back to work, with protective measures in place, as soon as we can!
It’s not every day a kids furniture company uses its blog to talk about a global pandemic, but today is one of those days.
Over the past few months, we’ve used our blog and email newsletter to provide a lot of information and updates about our production of Nuggets, helping customers not only confirm when their orders will arrive by, but also providing insight into how we run our business. Now, after a week unlike any other in recent memory, it’s time to talk about something slightly less fun, and something bigger than Nugget: Covid-19.
These are uncertain times, and they require us all to seek out wisdom wherever we can find it. At Nugget, we are looking to local and federal authorities for guidance (which we recommend everyone do), and also looking inward, thinking about the values that got us here in the first place and how they can inform our decisions going forward. The right answers are different for every business, each one with a different operation, a different number of employees, a different financial runway, and a different business model. All we can do is what feels right for us. As our customers, we hope it feels right for you too.
Life at Nugget HQ…
As of today, all staff who can work from home are doing so, ensuring that there are as few people at Nugget HQ as possible. We have also made two extra weeks of paid leave available to all employees — not only to protect staff members that are immune-compromised or have vulnerable family members, but also to cushion the childcare blow of the recently announced statewide school cancelation in North Carolina, which begins today.
For those still coming in to work, we’ve instituted a number of precautions that you’ve likely already heard from other businesses: mandatory hand washing breaks, avoiding contact, and sanitizing tools and machines between shifts.
While our factory remains open for now, a voluntary shutdown of Nugget operations is likely on the horizon. Although restrictive measures taken in other states and other countries have yet to include mandatory factory shutdowns, we will not continue to operate if conditions in our area significantly worsen in the coming days or weeks. At the same time, we understand that many customers are waiting on Nuggets, and our hope is to at least ship all remaining 2019 backorders before any closure. We may ship more, we may ship less, but that is our goal.
In the event of a voluntary shutdown:
- All Nugget employees will be paid normally. Not every business is in the position to do this — thanks to our customers, we are, and for that we are very grateful.
- Production and shipping will be delayed, pushing back delivery dates. If this does occur, we’ll be in regular contact with affected customers about new estimates. We hope that, given the gravity of all that is happening, these delays can be understood and empathized with.
After publishing this post, we are going to try to return to some version of normal — planning out Nugget colors for later this year, designing tools and an operation to fulfill holiday 2020 demand, and getting back to posting on our Instagram again (though with more self-quarantine game ideas than normal). At this point, it’s hard to say what the next day will bring, so we’re taking them one at a time. But please, above all, take this seriously. The lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens depend on it. Take care of yourself and your family, and if you have the ability, take care of your community. Your city or town likely has a crowdsourced document of businesses and individuals who need help. (Here’s one from our neighbors in Durham, NC). Find it, and pitch in. This crisis is hitting local businesses, who depend on the exact opposite of self-isolation, hardest of all.
Until then stay safe, care for others, and Play On (at home).