Almost a month ago I launched a national survey to take the pulse of interior designers in every corner of the country as it relates to the impact of the coronavirus. The results poured in and, I have to say, many of them showed an incredibly high level of anxiety.
While it may seem like years ago, we were at a very different place just a month ago. New York and other states were still not at their peak, and everything was in the process of being locked down tighter and tighter.
It was reasonable to assume that we would not even be taking the first steps to reopen the economy until perhaps June.
And yet today, May 1, virtually all restaurants in my home state of Texas are open again, albeit with restricted capacity.
And, while we don’t know when crowds will congregate at sporting events, China has reopened some 70% of its economy, including tours of the Great Wall. In one recent report, Wuhan, ground zero for the virus, reported not a single new infection.
Disney doesn’t know when it will reopen theme parks, but the Wynn Las Vegas resort is taking reservations for Memorial Day weekend. These are big-money players with access to the top scientists and exposure to the highest risk if they’re wrong.
Personally, I don’t think I’ll be getting on a airplane anytime soon, but my wife is leaving (driving) in two weeks for our summer home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and I’ll be heading out to my usual stomping grounds in Santa Fe sometime this summer.
As I promised two months ago when this all began, I’ll be in Galveston with my family mid-summer. Life returns to normal, except of course it’s a new normal.
As for interior design? I’ve gotten far more emails from Edge members citing the positives of their work and clients than the negative. Many projects were put on pause, of course, but now restart dates are being discussed. Here’s what one Edge member reported:
“It’s been an amazing week. I’m working on whole house furnishings for a “whale.” I acquired a new project through a video conf. with clients that were in FL and are coming to my office on Monday. Another year long whale Project. Referral from an AV company. Earlier this year I was awarded businessperson of the year by my local Chamber of Commerce. That night another award winner asked for my card and this week called me about her year long renovation project of 8000 square feet. I am responding to all this the same way I did in 2008. I never thought clients would not spend money or needed a discount. I offer to wear a mask, or gloves, but have continued the all important face to face meetings, social distancing of course. There is no more risk in continuing business now than going to the grocery store!”
I offer to wear a mask, or gloves, but have continued the all important face to face meetings, social distancing of course. There is no more risk in continuing business now than going to the grocery store!”
About that survey…I’m going to go through all of the results this weekend and I’m sure there is much of value to share with Edge members on our upcoming live coaching call. But then again, so much has changed in the past month that I have to wonder how different the answers might be today, just one month later.
I know there is going to be tough sledding for many, but your industry has faced worse and it will recover. Perhaps bigger and better than ever! Just make sure you’re there to enjoy it, stronger and smarter than ever!