A 2020 year in review, from CEO Alli’s perspective
2020 was a year like no other. Every day has brought us new challenges at Wicked Sheets. They have been incredibly trying, sometimes even exhausting, but the thought that we were able to survive and provide some level of security for all those “behind the seams” kept me going.
More than ever, we are grateful for you: our customers and supporters. You are the inspiration for everything we do and create. My team has been working tirelessly to continue to make your experience with Wicked Sheets the best it can be. From our customer service protocols to our quality assurance, we want to provide you with the best experience we can.
I have never done a recap like this before, but this past year, more than any other year in our history as a 13-year-old company, we grew in so many ways. I would love to take this opportunity to share what we accomplished in 2020.
A Wicked Good Pivot for a Year in Review
Pivoted to mask-making for 4 months at the beginning of the mask shortage. In that time, we were able to hire 28 seamstresses, tailors, home sewers, and cut volunteers from around the region; 4 of which were added to our team permanently. Sarah Jane Estes lead the “maker group” and we added Edward Taylor, Jessica Quiroga, Autumn Isom, and Michelle Anderson to our in-house sewing team. Here is video that our friends at AKA created for us, which showcases our new additions.
New Workshop Additions
I outfitted the workshop to meet all of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 “Healthy at Work” requirements. Additionally, I started hosting a team lunch each day we made masks and a team cocktail *around* 5pm. And knowing how important exercise is to my own mental health, I added 3 exercise machines to our office so that our team (and their families) could stay active while the gyms were closed.
I also called in a celebrity favor and had my friend, Ben Sollee, come by to play his cello and sing for us. He accompanied our sewing machines and even made recordings of our workshop sounds! See those photos here.
New Products and Policies
We introduced new products, created from our newly adopted Zero Waste Manufacturing policy. One of the vocational training initiatives that we worked on with our partner, The Bluegrass Center for Autism, was to sort our fabric scraps by color, texture, and size. These wonderful practice skills for our friends in the Autism community played a vital role in our ability to make face masks.
We expanded our color selection! After years of customer feedback and testing, we are thrilled to announce that we will be offering one seasonal color for the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer seasons. This year’s color addition is Crisp Concord. We have not been able to get the dye on both sides of the fabric to match yet, so stay tuned for it’s arrival!
We were, however, able to release a new “Little Sleepers” color: Reversible Green and White Stripe/Polka Dot. If you ask me, it is the most wicked adorable pattern that I have ever seen! All my friends who had babies this year can attest – the “Coolest Baby on the Block” bundle in Green Dot was my go-to-gift.
And lastly, added a new patent and a new trademark to our library of wicked branded products. Wicked Clean now adorns our newly released laundry + carrying bags; which functions as both a mask carrying case and a self-contained laundry bag. This bag prevents tangling, stretching, and snagging of our wicked small products.
Not all fun and games | A Year in Review
Yes, that is all wicked awesome, but I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the challenges we faced as a company this year.
The pandemic accelerated our need for space (physical and mental), flexibility for my team members with kiddos, and patience with our suppliers and carriers. I realize the impact this has potentially had on your experience as a Customer of Wicked Sheets: shipping delays, lost packages, and delayed customer service responses.
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist and people-pleaser, it pained me that we did not always “deliver” the experience that we believe you deserve from us. We worked almost every weekend for 3 months to catch up during the holidays and will continue working tirelessly, to increase our manufacturing capabilities, produce even better fabrics, and expand our customer service team. I truly appreciate all your support, but most importantly, your patience.
Our brand vision is to consistently add value to all experiences “behind the seams” so, from our team here in Louisville to the sheets that you are sleeping on tonight – we want you to be filled with wicked goodness when you hear our name.
And lastly, a big thank you to my team, my investors and Board members and advisors, as well as my always supportive husband and family. This company was built by someone who sweats a lot – and I know building businesses take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (more last year than ever), but worth every drop for the customers we serve – YOU. So, thank you.
Here is to a wicked good 2021 – and here’s to a 2021 year in review!