An Open Letter

An Open Letter

Hey everyone,

I thought I’d reach out and give an update on where myself and the business are landing 7 months into the pandemic. I can’t believe it’s been 7 months already. I think no one can dispute that 2020 has handed our asses to us. The trauma in many forms has forced me into a survival mode that has started to feel quite normal now. There have been so many highlights and opportunities for the brand coming my way that in the midst of this pandemic, I feel very fortunate to add gratitude and excitement in with the anxiety, beat down, and moments of ice cream.

I was looking at Paloma Elsesser’s Insta, and she talked about struggling to celebrate her accomplishments, to which a friend told her, “you must find ways to be good in the good.” Since reading that, I say this line to myself from time to time because all the love, compliments, and “you deserve all the attention the brand is getting” has been kind of uncomfortable for me to accept. Growing up in a West Indian household, I was raised to be a hard worker and to know that the celebration came in just that. My Trini family didn’t want anyone to get a “big head” so while I may have been praised for my merit, it wasn’t something expressed too often. I’m becoming more aware that my upbringing has impacted how I process the newfound attention to the business. What feels comfortable for me is to keep my head in the work. What feels scary for me is to celebrate accomplishments for fear that they will be taken away. And even though I sincerely appreciate and want the attention, which leads to growth for the business, I seek comfort in returning back to the work - in keeping it moving. But, I’m working on this - the idea that an accomplishment can be a death sentence if you stop to acknowledge it. That hard work shouldn’t be the singular mode I run to in order to run away from the good. “Be good in the good.” Be good in the bad, too. But shit people, that’s a lot of work. :)

I’ve been thinking a lot about sustainability across my life and business in general. With the attention to the brand, I’ve entered into a new phase of planning or projecting out what success could look like. I’d say pre-pandemic, I was more focused on the day-to-day operations. Nowadays, my focus is towards setting deeper intentions for the brand. And these intentions keep returning to sustainability. I want to have sustainable growth for my business and find a balance between demand and supply that doesn’t move into mass production. I want to highlight and collaborate with other BIPOC artists and makers so we move together. I want to cultivate a team around me where we trust each other and have family vibes. And I want us to make a comfortable living. All of this would be my idea of success.

Hope you’re doing well,
Aliya :)