COVID-19. It's intense and none of us ever thought we'd see what we have. Lives are affected, and so are businesses. Everywhere, companies are issuing official responses to show their customers what steps they're doing to help stop the spread.
Our initial response came in the form of the #onlyhomeonce mission on Instagram and "happy mail" campaign that we created in March. We wanted to be a light in a dark time, and knew that children were home and needing a little extra joy to their day. We created a series of activities and challenges and sent dozens of kids surprise packages in the mail. We thought that was a nice way to help "do our part", and unofficially was our response.
But, we were capable of more, which led to the beginning of adding fabric masks to our product line.
My sister has made a career of being an ER and OR nurse in the city of Detroit, currently one of the epi-centers of the COVID outbreak in the USA. Our talks began in early March about the shortage of fabric cloth masks in her hospital, and how Only Little Once had the resources to switch gears and make some. And, next, upon mentioning this in our facebook VIP group, we learned that you, our customers, were also in need.
And, so, our official response to COVID-19 has become switching gears to make fabric face masks. While we are a small business, we have a unique relationship with our factory because we helped to build it from the ground up. Our turn around time can be as little as 2-3 days, and our ability to shift from making dresses to fabric masks took no time at all. We've always believed in making a quality product for a fair price, and our masks are no different. We knew we could make a quality mask at a price that would mean anyone could afford to get one...because we all need them.
One thing we have learned in the past 10 days is that there is an absolute shortage of PPE and fabric masks in our country right now. On just the first day alone, we sold almost 5,000 masks.
This was unexpected, but we have put systems in place to accommodate for this need. We've hired more sewers, and have a specific team assigned just to sewing masks so that it does not affect our main product line or delay masks. At the warehouse, we hired two new employees to exclusively ship masks. We quickly learned that we needed to order 10 times more shipping supplies than we previously needed, and we have that taken care of now! Each day, we receive new shipments that allow us to fill the orders on hand.
When we think of 5,000 masks, that is not just a number. We know that each of those is going to one of your loved ones and each and every mask is very important. We're in this place here to help, and our ultimate desire is to help solve a problem so that you can have access to masks. We know some of these are going to children with compromised immune systems, grand parents, pregnant mothers, and we understand the responsibility involved in delivering these as soon as possible.
And, so, we have compiled a list of the most common emails and social media messages we are receiving. While we are normally able to respond quickly to customer service emails, unfortunately this volume of emails is slowing us down from the more important goal of shipping packages.
1) My order has been placed but I would like to make changes
While we would love to help make adjustments to your orders, or add masks to avoid paying an extra shipping charge, at this time, we are not able to offer this service. We apologize for any inconvenience.
2) My order hasn't shipped yet. Can I get an update?
Please refer to your order number or emailed receipt. On the receipt, you will find the product description. The product description has an approximate shipping date for each product in your order. This is VERY IMPORTANT- shipping dates are approximate. While we are committed to diligently filling these orders, there are a multitude of external variables that we can not control, and therefore can not guarantee an exact shipping date or arrival date. Like Amazon, we are also doing our best to estimate shipping timelines.
3) My order has been fulfilled but tracking has not updated.
Our fulfillment team is batch processing orders. When your order comes in, we will print your label and place it in our queue to ship. Receiving the notification that your label has printed does not mean that your package has shipped. However, you can expect for your package to be delivered to the post office as soon as possible.
4) This mask is not shipping fast enough. Can I receive a refund?
Our goal in this process is simply to help people. We are trying to get masks in the hands of people that need them. While your order is processing, if you find that you are able to locate masks that are shipping faster, send us an email. We will do our best to pull your order from processing and issue a refund. Our number one goal is for you to have a mask, whether it comes from us or another source. Please note that once packages have been delivered to the post office, we can not issue refunds.
5) I ordered a black mask but it shows that it was fulfilled as navy blue
Please rest assured, if you received this notification, that we have had a glitch in our website. If you ordered a black mask when they were available, you may receive a receipt by email showing a navy blue mask. Please disregard this. We are looking into the reason why this is the case, but are aware that you ordered a black mask.
Thank you so much for your patience as we work to do our part in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.