April 2020 Community Update
To the Vault + Vine Community,
What times we are living through! As we continue to adjust to our new way of life, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to you – our incredible community of staff, customers, clients, vendors, suppliers, and neighbors – for your continued support and words of encouragement. I want to take a moment to share with you how Vault + Vine is working to adjust to this new world of business, as well as a bit of personal reflection on this journey.
Since March 17, 2020, our doors have been temporarily shut. We have spent the past weeks moving through what I like to think of as “effective CoVid-19 trauma-response phases”: 1) taking care of immediate business needs, the most pressing of which was our Events Team having to work quickly with upcoming weddings and events to comply with the immediate situation; 2) giving ourselves time to process the situation, grieve the “loss” of normalcy, decompress, and reset; 3) navigate our financial standing by negotiating adjusted terms with our creditors, and applying for applicable loan and grant programs; 4) regrouping remotely to thoughtfully determine how we can best serve our community while remaining in full integrity with our mission; and now, our current phase, 5) preparing to reopen café and retail services in stages over the coming weeks so that we can serve you, our community in our fullest capacity. All this while ensuring the health and safety of our 25+ staff members and complying with State & Federal orders and guidelines with regards to CoVid-19.
Personally, I have to admit that those first few weeks were a combination of feelings. I found relief in the opportunity to take a break from the everyday business of running a (big, to me) small business and breathe. Simultaneously, I was adjusting to managing care for our nearly 1 year-old, homeschool for my Mifflin kindergartener, taking care of home-pets-cooking-cleaning-everything, on top of my husband and I both struggling to complete full-time work loads (not to mention attempts at squeezing in time for myself). Nearly 6 weeks in, we’ve finally, thankfully, begun to settle into a groove. Whatever your situation looks like, and however you’re dealing with things, know that you’re not alone. I acknowledge and see you!
We were one of the very fortunate businesses approved and funded by the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program loan, without which we very likely would have had to close our doors permanently. It has been, and continues to be, an incredibly complicated maze of information to work through. In the wake of our approval, we are working to get staff back to work as quickly as possible. My personal desire to ensure that each choice that we make is intentional and aligned with our values might mean that we move a bit slower than our community would expect, and I strongly believe that we are and will be a better business for it over these coming weeks, months, and years.
So, we move forward! Over the coming days we will begin to roll out new offerings. While we are moving the majority of our business model online, the truth remains that we are a local, community-committed business. As a result, and with a few exceptions (seeds, greeting cards, and gift cards, which may be mailed via USPS), everything for sale on our website is exclusively
for pickup or delivery within Philadelphia and nearby suburbs. Because our workforce and supply chain have been greatly affected by recent events, our offerings reflect what we believe to be the best way to support our local vendors.
As a community of fortunate and privileged individuals, it is our duty to acknowledge and find gratitude in that knowledge. From there, we must forge ahead and find ways to positively impact those who find themselves disproportionately affected by this crisis. We are pledging 10% of profits from our sales to the PHL CoVid-19 Fund, which helps nonprofits serving at-risk populations — including seniors, people with disabilities, and those who are experiencing homelessness or who are economically disadvantaged — so community safety nets and other essential supports stay intact. We are also hosting a weekly Instagram giveaway of $50 store credit to an essential worker as a token of our gratitude for their work.
With my birthday being Earth Day, it seems appropriate to personally reflect on what this all means. As someone who seeks to share the beauty in our lives through Vault + Vine, it’s been important for me to slow down and find beauty for myself. For me, I’ve found joy in cooking for my family again, watching my daughters grow (like, woah!), picking up yoga after a 12-year hiatus, spending less time glued to my computer crunching numbers. My hope is that amidst the uncertainty, fear, and overflow of information, you are able to find sparks of joy in your life. We’re not perfect every day, but we can let those little moments carry us through.
Thank you for being a part of this community. Thank you for your patience as we navigate these sometimes-stormy waters and seek out calmer days. Without you, we would not exist. With you, we will persevere, and together we will forge a new path forward.
In love and gratitude,
Owner, Vault + Vine