Wow, what a year!
Here we are already in the final stretch of this historic year and it seemed appropriate to tell you a little about how 2020 has been for NOMELLAMO.
What looked like a normal year in January, got completely messed up by March. Suddenly we were left with boxes of orders that were being canceled one by one.
This was the first week of the pandemic.
I was 7 months pregnant and I thought it was a good time for a break.
It was entertaining to read the memes, very shocking to see the world transform and above all, to experience the lockdown in all of our homes.
My hiatus took a week. When I thought that I would have to let go all my dear workers, I was filled with anguish. I’ve always felt a huge commitment towards the women that lovingly put these creatures together, and to think that I was going to deprive them of their household income, brought me a tremendous sense of impotence and sadness. In addition, NOMELLAMO had monthly responsibilities that could not be avoided.
In a chat with friends, one of them asked if we knew a seamstress who could make 10,000 facemasks. Initially, I did not give it much importance, but then I started to give it some more thought and realized what a great opportunity this could be for my team.
This is how the #OldLivesMatter team was born. My friend (Gaby) in Washington, my friend's friend (Ale) in Sweden and I began to shape Ale's project: making fashionable facemasks here in Costa Rica. By the way, this person gave a significant amount of money from her own pocket to be able to put this project together. This is how we started to contribute to the awareness of the importance of wearing the facemasks. How many people are seriously committed to this type of cause?
To cut a long story short, we started with Ale and then continued the project with other companies. In the blink of an eye, we ended up making 25,000 facemasks in 3 months!
I can't explain to you the level of insanity that was… bizarre as well, stressful and above all, extremely satisfying.
Then my daughter Alicia was born. And that was the mandatory pause.
It was really beautiful to take 3 months of maternity leave. Without a pandemic, I probably wouldn’t have stopped for all that time, like I had done with my first born, Julia.
I recently went back to work. Began in September and right away taking up inspiring, artistic and fun projects with NOMELLAMO ... the facemask episode feels like it happened 3 lifetimes ago.
When I think of everything that the NOMELLAMO family has to go through to survive, it is inevitable to also think of all the other people I know who have projects, ventures and small businesses that they love and are thriving to keep.
We have all had to perform miracles, transform, adapt and endure.
Whenever I can, I choose to gift Costa Rican design, I prefer artisan productions, and even when I go to the supermarket I check weather what I am buying is made in Costa Rica.
So, when we come across the recommendation to “Buy Local”, let's think about the history that holds those who produce what we buy. It is really important to ask ourselves today more than ever, what (and who) is behind what we consume. It could definitely be a story of resilience, one of those stories that inspires our path.
I say goodbye now, first thanking those who continue to support us by buying NOMELLAMO and also with a request: Let's support each other, promote ourselves and enjoy everything beautiful and delicious that is made in Costa Rica.