Reflecting on our past and meditations for an equitable future
As we come to the end of 2021, it is essential to pause and take stock not just of the past year but the past 24 months. How has the pandemic affected your life? Did you lose a loved one? Did you experience a significant disruption to your lifestyle? Were you left with less than favorable conditions and lacked the experience for how to proceed? Did you gain a different perspective for actual value in your life? Whether you believe this pandemic is a health crisis or some form of an orchestrated hoax, there is no denying that this novel virus has overwhelmed the average individual, family, and business much greater than any economic recession or US conflict in the past hundred years.
For the fortunate who survive and live through this pandemic, today may not provide a proper perspective for how profound of a period we are experiencing. Allowing space to occur, the noise to quiet, misinformation to fade, and the tremendous anger and sadness to soften. Can we collectively voyage through the darkness of this time with more empathy than anger in our hearts?
It is essential to acknowledge life as we knew it before the pandemic as “normal” suggests that the former status quo was acceptable and working for everyone.
For most brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants, pre-covid normal was not working, barely profitable, and not sustainable. Most businesses were trying to survive in a retail landscape that lacked the necessary resources. Steady foot traffic, access to capital, appreciation for authenticity, and pretty much every other aspect are necessary to operate a profitable enterprise. Examining the decade leading up to 2019, in-person retail was an industry that seemed blatantly unaware of the massive disruption that was on the horizon. Small mom-and-pop establishments and large corporate entities were filing bankruptcy or closing their doors at alarming rates. Fast forward to today, driving down many streets, it is not difficult to see which stores survived this ten-year disruption ranging from Dollar General to Walmart.
In April of 2019, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that “the total market share of online retail was higher than general merchandise sales or in-store sales for the first time in history. The report provided by the U.S. Commerce Department states that “Between 2000 and 2019 online retail grew 300%”. The report goes on to state “During the same period of 2000 to 2019, reported sales dropped by almost 50% within retail brick and mortar businesses from corporate department stores to smaller boutique establishments.
This decade’s expansion of digital commerce strengthened as technology improved on various devices, convincing our society to become more comfortable with the concept of fulfilling our entertainment and socializing needs more digitally and less in person. An expansion on one end while a complete disruption on the other is rarely seen in the modern economy.
Having experience in our family business that for two decades invested heavily in a variety of in-store shopping locations provided a front-row seat to the death march that thousands of retail shops, malls, outlets, and shopping centers would inevitably face.
As humans, we are designed to evolve, down to our DNA. New ideas and concepts may seem foreign at first yet provided our collective experience we have the tools to innovate for a better future. In the coming year we have many new additions to our collections and exciting developments that we can't wait to share with everyone from a new line of jewelry to digital gift certificates. We will be incorporating more video and inspiring imagery in our travel and artisan stories along with more support for the animal rescue groups and non-profits saving lives every-single day. There is no Sanctuary of Zen without giving back, paying it forward, and uplifting those around us. We wish happiness health and prosperity for all in 2022.
Nochebuena is celebrated not only throughout Latin America but also in some islands of the Asia-Pacific like the Philippines. After a long evening mass referred to as Misa de Gallo or the Gift Mass, the good part usually begins around midnight. Traditional homemade meals are enjoyed with a healthy dose of good conversation fine tequila or Mezcal in traditional vessels call Tequíleros or Tequila shoot sets. Artisan made vessels for an authentic celebration. Shop Now!