Before any of our holiday marketing goes out this week, we at UPSCo feel the need to share our gratitude. It is the week of Thanksgiving after-all.
If you’re new to our little shop we suggest starting with our 2019 year in review to get a sense of who we are and what we do.
You may have noticed that we’ve been light on marketing and new products this year. I can’t, in good conscience, carry on without expressing how thankful we are for everything we still have, and are working toward. And it’s been hard to put into words. This year has had more than its share of bumps in the road, as we all know. When the lockdown was enacted in March, we were left unsure of what that might mean for our small business, our beloved community, and so forth. Eight months later, and that elephant is still in the room.
With all the tensions and anxieties of mask mandates and social distancing, we thankfully have gone without any incidents in the shop. For myself and I imagine other small business owners there’s a moment of tense hesitation when a potential customer walks through the doors.
Am I going to have to enforce social distancing? Am I going to need to remind someone to wear a mask? Is there going to be a confrontation?
Thankfully, every customer we’ve encountered has been incredibly patient, understanding, and respectful. This continually brings me back to our original Yooper Steez slogan from 2008, “Nice shirts for nice people”, because it’s the truth.
We know this hasn’t been the case for every small business. Some have had in-store confrontations while others have faced dire business decisions. I ask you to please extend the kindness and patience you’ve shown us wherever you find yourself this week and holiday season.
During a time of added stress and unknowns, you have all been incredibly awesome. We are a fortunate little company, and I am personally overflowing with gratitude this year as we go into Thanksgiving.
Growing up in Baraga, there was a sign I saw every day at the bottom of the hill next to the drive-in. Though no longer there, that old welcome to Baraga sign read, “Home of the nicest people in the world.” That’s a high claim to give oneself, but it’s certainly left an impression of something to aspire to.
We’ve had many of our own hurdles at UPSCo this year, and we’ve been able to clear each one thanks to the patience, kindness, and support from countless people. We are grateful for our landlord who extended a tremendous amount of flexibility during the lockdown, the high school for purchasing gift certificates from local businesses, the unexpected surge of summer tourists who showed nothing but respect, and to customers who have been incredibly patient when we fell behind on order fulfillment and restocking our shelves. Thank you.
We wish you good health and kindness this season. Stay well, stay awesome, and watch more sunrises!
– Bugsy Sailor
Official Unofficial Ambassador or the Upper Peninsula
P.S. Whether it is us, our competitors, or any other locally owned business, please find ways to support the small businesses in your own community so that it can grow and prosper.
P.P.S. This photo is of yours truly from 2019, long before any mask mandates 😷