Its been quite an experience this Covid-19. I think it has made us appreciate the small things in life and people who we share it with. Its made us get back to basics and realize that we can do without some of the things that became a habit, which were not adding value to our health or daily lives.
As far as businesses are concerned, it has been difficult. Take for example our business STUDIO 44 MAURITIUS. We rely to a large extent on tourists to make a success of our shop in Calodyne. The tourists stopped on the day before lockdown, the 20th March. From then until 5th June which I think is the date on which restrictions were lifted and we were allowed to move around freely, we have lost a lot of business. Unfortunately things like rental and other costs will still have to be borne by the company. It will take a while to get over this and get back to where we were. That applies to all business, whether large or small.
I hope and pray that the people of Mauritius will support local artisans and crafters in Mauritius. If its made in Mauritius, it means that there is more than one person relying on the income from that product. You can help the island by buying locally manufactured products.
Businesses will also have to reinvent themselves. Jean Claude and I have some new ideas focussed on the recycling of glass. I will share these exciting ideas as and when we launch the products. It will help to use the many bottles which go into the rubbish dumps. If anyone has one of those beautiful blue gin bottles or those square rum bottles or anything similar, we would be most grateful to have them. We can use any unusual shaped or unusual colored bottle for our new production lines. We have a good stock of the ordinary wine bottles already so are unable to accept those, unless they are of an unusual color.
We see many restaurants battling to keep afloat and with the hotels now also offering take-aways this means that the restaurants have more competition than usual. They also have staff who are perhaps the breadwinners in the family. Lets support them too.
I think that it will be in the months to come – July, August and September that we will see many businesses closing down unable to cope any longer. It is so terribly sad to see something that someone has worked hard to build up, being cut down by Covid-19.
Lets all try to help one another as much as we can. One can never know the pain and hardship someone is going through – many people smile and say “I am fine” whereas they are wondering where their next meal will come from, or if there will in fact be one at all.
We have re-launched our Studio 44 Craft Academy and are enjoying teaching once again. If you are interested, you can find details on our Studio 44 Mauritius Facebook page. We have 6 different courses to choose from, working with different mediums. We believe that it would be a shame for all the knowledge that we have gained over the past 30 years working in glass, not to be passed on to as many people as possible.
Take care, stay safe and have a happy day!