Its been a while since I posted and update, and a lot has happened since then. COVID has affected all of us in a number of ways, some good and some bad. Let me first say that I hope everyone is safe and healthy. My family has remained virus-free and we have been practicing every available safety measure that we can think of, the most distressing of which is not visiting our aging parents. I am sure that many of you are in a similar situation and I wish and hope for some sense of normalcy for us all in the coming months.
The COVID shutdown has also affected our business in a positive way, in that paint sales went through the roof in April and May while everyone was stuck at home and decided to pass the time by doing long-put-off projects around the house. And when paint sales go up so do brush sales. We started the shutdown with a pretty good inventory but the increase in business hit us hard, and out-of-stocks started happening in late May. Add to that an influx of new retailers and inventory numbers started dropping fast. COVID did put a delay in our ability to restock, but in reality we were mostly caught off-guard with the influx of wholesale orders.
The good news is that some of the brushes are trickling back in stock, as of today, and the rest will be here in early September. The Shorty 1.5" Angled Brush showed up today, but a problem with the packaging will delay shipments for a few days while we sort that out. But they will be available to order when this post goes live. Plush 1.5" Ovals will be back in the third week of August, probably around the 17th, so keep an eye out for those. We will have purchase limits of 24 items on these two products until the big shipment arrives.
As for new retailers, we have had to put a temporary moratorium on accepting new retailers until we can be certain that we have enough stock to satisfy our current customers before opening up to new ones. I WILL BE increasing our purchases to meet these needs and we will see that stock start to come in in the coming months. If you are a potential retailer reading this, please feel free to follow the Wholesale steps on our Contact Us page and I will let you know when we can accept new retailers. I can assure you that we want you in the ChalkPro family!
Lastly, not COVID or inventory related, I had an accident at the shop two weeks ago and broke my left wrist. It required surgery, which I had last Friday, and I am now recovering in a cast and sling. Doing this kind of work one-handed is no easy feat, but I was lucky to have my son with me to help these last two weeks. But, unfortunately, he goes back to LSU on Friday and I will be on my own again until I can find some new help. My original helper, Frankie, has been home with her children since the lockdown started so I'm not sure when I will get her back. I am telling you this simply to ask for your patience in fulfilling orders. I will be working slowly for a couple of weeks (at least) and while I know that being out of an important product is bad for business I will be working as quickly as I can to get your orders out to you. I expect to be somewhat back to normal when the big shipment comes in in 4-5 weeks.
Oh, one more thing. Modern Masters Metallic paints will be coming back online by the end of the month. I paused our re-ordering of that product line to allocate more funds to brushes, but the shipment is on its way now and will be here in a couple of weeks. There will also be a slight price increase on the MM line for the first time in several years.
Thanks for reading this long-winded post, but I wanted to take a minute to get everyone up to date on what's been going on. Everyone please stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands and keep your distance!