Yesterday, I posted about how we had to remember who we are during this crisis, and that we aren't necessarily who we are at our best. I asked people to share who they are at their best, and what they look forward to going back to doing.
There were many outstanding responses on the Facebook post, Eddie wrote one stood out as particularly remarkable:
"I find that I feel my best during those good times you wrote about. But it's also those times where, periodically, doubt can seep in about whether I'm the best I can be. Ironically, it's times like this where those doubts don't appear at all. It's these times were were get to actually see that we are, in fact, the best we can be. These are the times where we find out if we are the people we think we are. This is where people with the Outlaw spirit stand tall. We are the people that others look to for guidance. When everything and everyone around us seems to be falling apart, we're not. We're not because we know, we got this. Every one of you has the Outlaw spirit. Even thought it may not feel like it right now, every one of you is the best." - Eddie
Eddie's absolutely right. (In fact, I found his comment so insightful that I'm including it on all our packing lists.)
Right now, we are shining in ways that we never had the opportunity to show when we were untested... and I am so proud to be in the company of people like Eddie, because he keeps this in perspective.
For people like Tasha, who wrote:
"Wonderfully put! Typical Monday in IT at a Children's Hospital but it was sooo much better with The Badlands on my wrist. All it took was a whiff and I was back in Wyoming - not wrestling with 4 monitors and a tangle of wires but sitting in the forest next to a warm fire after a night of rain. You made my day! Bless you!" - Tasha
I think we can agree that she's kicking ass at being the best.
The whole time we've had this business (since 2013!), I've consistently been amazed at the quality of our customers. We are all outstandingly diverse and unique people, often uncharacteristically united in how independently minded we are. In a time when the world is complex, and people seem more divided than ever, I am always so grateful that we Outlaws posses an Outlaw spirit that gives us fortitude at a time like this.
A New Outlaw Program
And this is probably a good time to announce that we're working on a new program to help American-made small businesses while also getting protective safety masks to important people handling the effects of this crisis.
My friend Rachel works at The Chapel of the Angels mortuary in Grass Valley. This is her:
(if you're reading this on Facebook, you'll have to click through to the post to see the photo)
She's wearing a mask that we sent her last week as part of a trial to see if we could, in fact, orchestrate a small operation for the last responders, as I like to call them.
Mortuary and morgue workers are facing the same mask shortages that everyone is. Healthcare workers and first responders are the people dealing with the sickest people, who have to go to the hospital... and people like my friend Rachel are dealing with the remains of the people who don't make it.
... in Columbia, California (another small gold rush town), my friend (and wholesale customer) has a retail shop, a coffee shop, and an ice cream store. Obviously, they're closed.
But Angela messaged me with an idea: with all these extra bandanas she has around (made by a US manufacturer, I might add), would we want to sell masks made from bandanas?
Why yes, YES WE WOULD.
She's working on pricing, but here's where the plan really comes together: We have this supplier for N95 and KN95 masks (those are the masks approved by the FDA for healthcare workers), and now we have this person who has a whole staff of people who can make masks from existing inventory.
The Outlaw Plan
1: We have a second shipment of healthcare approved masks arriving either this week or early next week.
2: Angela and her team are working on bandana face masks.
We'd like to combine these efforts and have a "buy a mask, give a mask" program, where you can buy a sewn mask from bandana fabric, and we'll use 100% of the profit from the sales of the sewn masks to buy the KN95 masks for mortuary workers.
We've also got our milled soap manufacturer ready to make 1 oz bars of unscented soap for homeless shelters, if we ever want to expand the program, but we're doing small steps first... a skid of unscented soap is a lot more of a commitment than masks, and we've never done anything like this before, so we're taking it slow.
THANK YOU for being your best at this time, and THANK YOU for enabling us to be our best, too. This is really something.