What’s it like to make toys during a pandemic?
Absolutely no one has asked Uncle Goose what it’s like to make and ship toys during a pandemic However, we’d thought we’d answer that question, anyway. In short: it’s weird.
But, hey. We’re creative people. Being weird is nothing new to us.
Our saws are silent. Uncle Goose employees are furloughed until it’s safe to return to work.
Further, all Uncle Goose wholesale deliveries to brick-and-mortar retail outlets have stopped. This makes sense, because most toy stores, gift shops, and other retail design outlets are closed during the pandemic.
We don’t know what will happen to our retail customers going forward. We hope they’ll survive and thrive in the years to come. Please continue to support them.
Still, the lack of sales to retail outlets has left Uncle Goose with a lot of inventory on our shelves. Mercifully, Uncle Goose online sales have picked up quite a bit.
We’re grateful for that. Thank you for buying our 100% Made in the USA products.
And if you’d like to buy Uncle Goose products, we sell online in 3 key places:
1. Remember, thousands of brick and mortar retail outlets still have online stores. You can support a local business that sells our products by visiting them online and making a purchase.
2. Uncle Goose sells online at Amazon.com. We use the Amazon Fulfillment Center for those sales. Uncle Goose made sure Amazon had plenty of product on hand before the stay-at-home orders came down. We’re all set there. Whew!
3. Uncle Goose also sells our products at our own site — unclegoose.com. Sales here have picked up a lot during the pandemic. We're grateful for this. When we sell from our own site, it means we earn a higher margin on each toy we sell.
OK, but how are we shipping and packing our online orders to our customers? Here’s where we get creative:
Two lone Uncle Goose employees who live together still come into the workshop every work day. We pack, wrap, and send out your orders. We’ve also discovered that our delivery is often faster than Amazon right now. That’s a first.
Another key advantage of ordering through the Uncle Goose website is that we offer gift wrapping and gift notes. We're wrapping and packing your orders. We're also writing your gift notes by hand.
We feel that handwritten notes lend a personal touch to the gifts our customers send each other. This isn’t new: we’ve always done it this way.
And, wow. The little notes we’re reading and writing right now are often so touching and deeply moving.
People send Uncle Goose toys as birthday gifts when they can’t be at a child’s celebration in person. That’s pretty normal for us, but as you might imagine — that part of the business has picked up quite a bit.
And yet, there’s one aspect of our business that picked up that we didn’t expect. People are now sending Uncle Goose toys as part of educational care packages for parents who are now home schooling their children.
Of course, that makes all the sense in the world. Plus, the love and care that goes into writing the thoughtful notes that accompany your gifts makes us glad that we do what we do.
We don’t think the government would consider Uncle Goose an essential business. But right now, we feel like Uncle Goose products have become pretty darn essential for a lot of families with small children.
It wouldn’t be right to publicly share the personal gift cards we’ve written on behalf of doting family members. And yet, we can tell you the tone and the content of cards has changed over the past few months.
We get the strong impression that the love people feel for their families needs to be tangible. It feels like Uncle Goose is helping people express those qualities in a very real way.
After all, we make products that children love to touch. It’s as if our customers are reaching out with our products so that families can feel the love they feel. And maybe even hand it down from generation to generation.
We’re happy to report that we plan to have furloughed employees return to work this month. While everyone was gone, it sure was quiet around here!
We used our quiet time to create new designs for new products and new prototypes. You can expect to see new Uncle Goose toys and gifts later this year.
Thank you for your continued love & support.