The Rock And The Hard Place
I know…I know. At first glance, one can’t help but see: there’s nothing beautiful about COVID 19. Wouldn’t you agree?
This virus took its toll on us all. Uzuri Closet like the fashion industry, strived to stay above water. With almost everyone home-bound, we struggled to find our place in this new era ushered in by the pandemic. We had to ask ourselves: where does Uzuri’s culture of vibrancy & togetherness, fit within the new environment characterized by social distance, and uncertainty?
Prior to the Pandemic, we were at the final stages of executing a plan to open pop-up shops, but as life goes, COVID-19 had other plans and we were left with uncertainty, wondering how to recuperate from this hit and our lost investments.
Despite this fear and uncertainty, giving up was far from an option. The subsequent question on everyone’s mind was not “Do we move forward from this?”, it only could be “How do we move forward through this?
The Diamond In The Rock
According to the Smithsonian magazine, “…the combination of high temperature and high pressure is what's necessary to grow crystals in the earth. Diamonds form as carbon atoms, bond together to start growing crystals”.
Instead of fighting the pressure this pandemic exerted on us, we let it reshape us as a brand, a business and as individuals.
Through a new perspective, we captured a deeper sense of what Uzuri represents. Uzuri means “beautiful” in Swahili. Up until this pandemic, we had yet to tap into the beauty in Uzuri that is beyond skin-deep: The beauty of the mind, heart & soul. In the fashion and clothing Industry, there is an emphasis on appearance, outward style, and clothing that limits beauty to only a skin-deep phenomenon.
However, we redefined beauty for Uzuri and in the fashion industry to mean “Service”. Like carbon atoms that bond together to start forming crystals, Uzuri bonded deeper with the community to give support, and love that formed and gave hope to people in the thick of it all. We worked hard, researching, hand-sewing, safety masks with cotton and lyocell lining for essential workers and donating over 300 of those masks to care centers in our community.
We also started creating and selling masks in addition to our headwraps to support the health and safety of the Uzuri family: our customers and the team. Then we used the funds from this venture to sponsor our new collection “New Dawn” to represent our new perspective. (See “New Dawn” blog post on next page)
Through the hardships of this pandemic, our service, and confidence in who we are, we rediscovered deeper depths and elevated heights in the inner beauty and value of the Uzuri Closet brand. If you decide to join us on this new adventure, grab a front row seat and let’s redefine beauty within us, in the midst of, and beyond the storm.
Author: Celine D.