2020 will be remembered for a lot of things, and I don't think we're too far out of line with saying most of those things will be swear words.
There were some wonderful moments for us in 2020 and we wanted to take a moment to reflect in gratitude on all our wonderful customers, or great community, and the great things that happened during a tough year.
1. Kate and I got to be on Fox32 News Chicago. Honestly? Kate and I turn into nervous wrecks any time we have to do any sort of interview or photo. And being live on camera? Neither of us slept at all. But we loved all the love we got from Lively supporters, and we LOVE that Fox32 News chose to do this. What an amazing opportunity for us.
2. Our gift card benefactor. Guys, it was SO MUCH work to shop with Lively in early 2020 and we know it. Everyone had to call and text and call again and try things on at home... but we were overwhelmed with support. And one amazing customer even bought a gift card for $1100 and dropped it off at the store, telling us she never planned on using it, she just wanted to make sure we survived the pandemic. (We don't expect anyone else to do this, but we do sell physical and digital gift cards, if you're looking!)
3. Small gestures from sweet customers. This one is from Kate: "I had a customer call the store to tell us she was on her way to take a photo with her GOvember map. She was calling because she was grabbing coffee on the way and wanted to bring all the employees something. It was such a small but kind gesture and made my week"
4. Our amazing staff. They took time off when they needed to, they worked like crazy during unprecedented times, and they were all pretty fun to be around. Thank you so much, Courtenay, Tamiko, Wendy, Ellen, Olivia, and Mollie!!!
5. First store... ever. We were so touched when people came to Lively and told us we were the first store they'd ventured into since the pandemic hit. Your trust and support meant so much to us. But this little girl? Her mom chose us not just as her first store of the pandemic, but her first store EVER. We are so proud to be a part of this family's memories of Oak Park and her first ever pair of walking shoes.
6. One of the best GOvembers of all time. I don't know if it was just that everyone had more time to chit chat on Facebook? Or if we had more participation than usual? But this was one of my favorite GOvembers of all time, just so fun to do. And I was obsessed with our balloon backdrop from our friends at 99 Haus Balloons- we will never, ever not have a backdrop again. The photos were just so cute!
7. Lake Theatre Marquee. I know this is small, but it was just so fun to see our logo up at this Oak Park icon!
8. John Williams Show. Being on the John Williams Show in support of Small Business Saturday was fun, but what really made it amazing was that it was our friends over at CarefulPeach who thought to pitch us to the show. Thanks, Karen and Peter!
9. Our new intersection. I know it's boring, but I love it! It's pretty and smooth and I especially loved the Better Lake Street Rewards Program. It's just so nice when the districts work together and support each other.
10. Launching e-commerce. This was a tough one, and involved so many tears, so many hours of tech support and so, so, so much work. But we're so proud of our website! Thank you to everyone who has supported us!
11. Our Wednesday night runners. This group has been with us since the beginning. Usually, we reward them with beer, t-shirts, and the occasional pizza. This weird year, though, they've just been meeting outdoors and responsibly running for the sheer joy of it. We love you, Reserved Runners!
And what are your favorite memories of 2020?