As I begin my first blog post, I want to take a moment to thank all of Island to East Side’s loyal followers and customers. The love and outpouring of support, especially during this difficult time has been overwhelming, in such a great way.
From all of your feedback on our Instagram posts and stories, to the private DM’s we receive, I am truly amazed. We are navigating through unchartered waters right now and it’s not always easy knowing what the right thing to do is when it comes to business. Above all, I want to be connected and transparent with our customers, because without all of you, ITES would not be where it is today.
Recently, we hosted a few charitable shopping events and giveaways on Instagram that not only drove traffic to our site, but also created excitement in a lackluster time like this. People truly amaze me, in a good way. We received messages from those who participated in the giveaways, saying how much fun it was, even if they didn’t win, and that left me feeling like I was at least able to spread some good vibes. We also received notes from customers thanking us for arranging donations to Baby2Baby and Wish Upon a Wedding, which left me feeling humbled and appreciative for the opportunity to do so.
Since these giveaways and charitable shopping events were so successful, we are already brainstorming more ways to give back and connect with all of you daily. At ITES, we love collaborating with other brands, and this might be the perfect time to do so. As a result, we would also love to incorporate philanthropic purchases into our calendar year round, rather than just in this time of distress.
I truly believe the power of social media and the ability to access one another so easily puts us at an advantage; even though we are self-isolating physically, we are not alone. I’ve never felt so in touch with all of you and with our business. I’d love to take advantage of the time and clarity this quarantine has afforded me and establish a way I can continue to reach out to you as our busy lives resume.
For a while now, I’ve been thinking of how much I’d like to connect with all of you in a more personal way. Because Instagram has been a great way to share and engage our followers, I want to capitalize on additional ways to do so.
Truth be told, I’ve always been a bit hesitant to share too much of “me,” and so I’ve kept myself separate from the ITES brand, but this current “norm” we’re living in has given me the urge to step out of my comfort zone. And if we’re being frank, the time to write this, a luxury I didn’t have even a few short weeks ago.
If there’s one thing that’s surprised me while building this brand, it’s that people are genuinely interested in knowing not only about the custom items we design, but also the faces behind the brand. Because of that reason, and the need to fill my less busy schedule, I’ve decided to embrace some of the ideas I’ve had on the back burner and bring them to life. And here you have it, the #OOOwithITES blog is officially born.
Before all of this happened, I was super stressed out. Between work and wedding planning (yes, I’m also an ITES bride) I didn’t have a free spot in my mental capacity, certainly not to put my all into something like a blog.
What I wished for was that life could just take a pause, everything around me would stop moving, and I wouldn’t have to feel guilty anymore about abandonin
Well it looks like I got exactly what I wished for, (not in the way I had hoped it would happen of course), and it looks like you’ll now have a new blog to read each week.
Unable to control what’s going on outside, I’m using this time to organize both personally and professionally. In addition to launching #OOOwithITES, I’ve also gone back to the drawing board and asked myself, what is it that I want to see ITES stand for in the future. Whether it’s new items, new outlets to connect with all of you, or interactive ways to give back to the community that helped get ITES where it is today, I want to always keep the brand fresh and moving forward.
As a small business owner with no one to answer to but myself, I am trying to focus and practice new forms of self-discipline while working remotely. There’s something about being in the office, surrounded by all of our beautiful bags, that allows me to be creative and product focused. Since we can’t be there right now, I will continue to dream big from the safety of my bedroom, in the city that never sleeps.
There is something to be said about New Yorkers; we are resilient in the face of adversity. We’re accustomed to just going, and going, and often get stuck in our daily routine so much so that we don’t take a moment to just breathe.
While we are all being forced to work and create in different ways, I believe that something wonderful will come out of all off this. Wherever you are, remember, this too shall pass and we’ll make a brand new start from it.