It’s 5am and I am still obsessing over work - so you can see how well I am doing with getting away and actually recharging:)
It continues to be strange times. We are all tired. Some of us have more PTSD around covid than others. (Health care heroes we see you and send so much love and respect.) The rollercoaster ride of the past 18 months has left scars across the world and as we sputter our way through this we look into the future with a mixture of hope and uncertainty.
To the moms out there who spent the past week filling in forms and stocking up on masks I can feel your fear and frustration as kids pack classes without the benefit of vaccinations. My own kids are 17 and 20. When they were able to get their vaccinations I felt such a surge of relief. I sometimes forget that my friends with younger kids haven’t been able to feel that yet. We all want desperately to protect our kids and being able to let my guard down after Soph and Owen got their shot did provide a psychic level of relief that I hadn’t felt since lining up with them to get their H1N1 shots over a decade ago. I’m wishing all you families the best of luck these coming months.
I am currently out of the county and spending time with some Americans and Europeans. I was lucky enough to receive my third shot (AZ + Moderna +Moderna) in order to be recognized as fully vaccinated by foreign jurisdictions. Boarding a plane of 200 plus people showing evidence of both full vaccination and negative covid test results is actually incredibly reassuring.
The group I am with is young (I am the oldest for sure…) and politically engaged. As always - conversations with young politically engaged American women often focus around health care, reproductive rights and childcare policy. One fellow traveler is running for her state legislature in Kentucky. Another is a prominent journalist who has written extensively about women’s rights in the US. As I listen to them talk against the backdrop of my mainly Canadian twitter feed I am overwhelmed with gratitude around our collective acceptance of the bare minimum of a social safety net called universal health care coverage. Political parties across Canada often disagree about how much private coverage should be allowed to leak into our system but there is no dissent that universality is nearly a cornerstone of our national identity. And as much as I wished access to capital flowed a little more freely up here (look I am running a business!) I will always cherish how we perceive the right to high quality health care.
When I vote - which I did at advance polls - it is usually with the understanding that I could never be an all-in partisan. I am a several issue voter and I pick the party that best aligns with my vision on those issues. To be honest they all have some warts on them. When you stop looking for perfection it gets easier:) I also believe in supporting stand out candidates who may be in a different party than one I support. Our House of Commons is better with diversity of thought and the more stand out stars who run the better it will function. (And yes, I know - sometimes partisanship is exactly what eats these stars up in the Parliamentary system.) So get out there Canada and exercise that vote.
The Future of Work And How We Dress For it.
Over here at SophieGrace we have spent much of the past year listening to and learning from our customers. For example - we know you love the pull on pants and so we just dropped the pull on version of our much loved pencil skirt. Our fundamental philosophy of mix and match separates for work hasn’t changed but work is different for many and so our collection is making sure that we bring you pieces that can scale up and down the formality scale. Some days a soft tank and jeans is good enough - other days that tank needs to be paired with a blazer and skirt for an important IN PERSON (ghah!) meeting:)
This fall we will be bring you some flare pull on pants, a true new slim line legging trouser, and some new bamboo blends in the form of a long sleeve top and turtleneck. Our bamboo collection is going to see a blast of colour too.
We are working with two Canadian factories now. As supply chain crunches wreak havoc for many in manufacturing having the clarity that we know our product is onshore is amazing. We won’t go to pre-sale on items until we know the fabric is in our factories and the product is being sewn in Canada.
Our Vancouver showroom is now open by appointment. We postponed our grand opening due to covid concerns but Vancouver customers keep your eyes open for that and for our customer feedback sessions with our designer Jess. We are working on a whole new suiting line for spring, linens for next summer and more loose dresses with pockets. We can’t wait to get you to help us co-create.
Most importantly - I want to say thank you. There are always hiccups along the way and we don’t purport to always being perfect. But your support this past year has been amazing. We are excited to keep growing. We love making beautiful things in a beautiful way. We love that we have been able to support organizations like Momentum.org with their microloans for female entrepreneurs fund. We love that we are a part of the resurgence of Canadian manufacturing.
If we have ever failed to meet your expectations - we will always make it right. Our team is a close knit group that wants nothing more than to make sure you enjoy and value your purchase and experience with us.