We are a few days from the end of a very strange and unprecedented year. A year that has not been easy. Like many of you, no doubt, we quickly had to find ways to adapt to the new normal in our personal lives and in our business world. It has been “the best of times…the worst of times” to say the least.
2020 will be a year seared in all our memories. It’s been a year that has fundamentally challenged long established certainties about how we interact with others, what we think is safe and what we believe is healthy in all areas of our lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many changes and challenges to our lives that were all but impossible to foresee at the start of the year. It has changed almost all that we know. Across the world, workplaces and home lives have had to adapt to halt the spread of the virus. For many millions of workers, this has meant working from home. Many others have continued to do their jobs each day under extremely trying conditions. We thank all who have carried on in their own personal ways to keep goods and services.
We’d also like to take a moment to give you an update on Galiatea. Despite all the challenges, 2020 has been an excellent year for us. I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished.
We have continued working with under-represented artisans from across the globe to benefit them individually and their communities. This year we added items from artisans in Rwanda, Uganda, Turkey, Nepal, Cambodia and Laos to The Galiatea Collection. As a result, items purchased are now benefitting these additional artisans’ communities. 10% of our profits go back to all of our artisan communities in the form of educational supplies, continued education and infrastructure development, so that artisans not only survive, but thrive thanks to their art.
We started 2020, like so many, with a very different focus than what we have now. At the beginning of this year, we had lined up investors and were preparing to open up a showroom in NYC. Like so many other businesses, we had to pivot in the first quarter and decided now is the time to make the BIG SHIFT to ecommerce. We wanted to make items in The Galiatea Collection accessible to everyone, not just designers. And decided to move online and open up our hand-crafted items to consumers so that they might directly purchase a piece of luxury craftsmanship. We also added the ability to include design services and an online consultation into offerings. Your response has been amazing. We thank you for the continued support, and all of our artisans and their communities do as well.
As part of our move into the digital space, we expanded our website, www.galiatea.com, and started our Design In-Sights podcast. Season 2 will be released soon! We also hosted the very successful Abundance By Design two-day summit, featuring industry leaders from a wide variety of interests. Six lucky registrants who upgraded to our VIP ACCESS to the summit won our amazing vacations to places like Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro, Bali and Santorini, Greece. I was also a featured speaker at several online events this year, including the most recent 21 Day Holiday Countdown!
Throughout the year we have continued with our activities and events, using a variety of ways to stay connected with all of you. We have been a part of national media, including Furniture Today, and continue to seek ways to share our insights on a wide variety of topics. (Check out our Press features HERE)
We also grew our team to better serve our partners, clients, designers, artisans and all others that Galiatea touches each day. I thank the staff, our artisans and our network of partners for their commitment and dedication to not missing a beat in these unprecedented times.
Whatever the future brings, I am sure that all of us at Galiatea will keep striving to make unique pieces with a soul part of your life and your space. We are excitedly looking forward to 2021 and all the things we are rolling out in just the first quarter. In January alone, we have the release of our ebook scheduled, along with a 12-week workshop to coincide with the book release. We are also lining up even more collaborations in the New Year.
Most importantly, we are looking to include even more items in The Galiatea Collection from artisans from additional countries to have an even bigger impact on the world. 2020 has shown that, by staying focused on our mission and working together, we can achieve even greater things in 2021.
As we say our goodbyes to 2020, we would like to wish you and your friends and family the very best of health in the coming holiday season. We also hope that 2021 brings you great happiness and sees a return to some sort of normalcy. We especially hope the coming year allows you to thrive.
From all of us at Galiatea, we are looking to the future with optimism. And, we wish for you an amazing Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year! Above all: STAY HEALTHY!