I’ve felt it and I’m sure you’ve felt it, too.
After the 2008 Great Recession they were called “little green shoots” to represent even the tiniest rays of hope.
Working with hundreds of designers to get through that difficult period, I recall using the word “thaw” in one of our conferences. It seemed to resonate as for 2008 and 2009, there was a sense in many areas that things were just frozen in place. There were exceptions to be sure, most notably designers who worked at the very high end in the areas least affected by the recession like Texas and North Carolina.
A “thaw” was the perfect metaphor because so much damage had been done to the economy, that it was only going to come back slowly if surely. Just like an icicle, we would first notice tiny little drips indicating that, yes, the temperature had finally climbed above freezing.
We talked a lot during those years about pent-up demand as projects, especially commercial projects had been put on hold for as long as 3-4 years. And then, drip by drip, the thaw came, demand was released, and we entered one of the longest periods of sustained growth and prosperity in the nation’s history. This included record spending on interior design projects.
That was then. This is now…and I don’t think we’re going to be down long enough for any real pent-up demand to build. I wrote recently that there shall be NO CANCELLATIONS of interior design projects, and any client who asks for one will be politely redirected to a RESCHEDULE… Or, at least to a “revisit” at a point one to two months from now.
But I think there may be something even stronger that will work to your benefit than pent-up demand—pent-up hope!
Have you felt it? Even for just a moment when you hear that China is starting to release restrictions? Or New York City’s rate of acceleration may not be as bad as feared? Or Italy’s death rate finally falling? Or a new drug that may be a breakthrough?
Are you longing to get back to normal and do the little things that your quarantine has taken from you? Are you feeling just a little more appreciation for today, even as your hope for tomorrow grows?
My favorite get-away is to drive to Santa Fe for a 4-night stay, do some writing in the Santa Fe Library and eat at all my favorite restaurants. It’s about 700 miles each way from my DFW home, but I have a very fun and very fast car and a lot of audio books, so I look forward to that part. (I sometimes stop in Amarillo for a night to create two easy days of driving instead of one long one.)
The last time I got back from that trip, I thought that would be my last trip for a while…but now that I can’t take that drive and the restaurants are closed, it’s all I want to do! I just want a return to normal. I just want to do things today because, well, because tomorrow’s overrated!
I think that as soon as people feel safe in getting out again, in going to restaurants, and traveling… As soon as Las Vegas is open again…as soon as sporting events kick back into gear, you’re going to see a strong surge of people wanting to invest in projects that they have previously considered extravagant or whimsical, but now they’ll be thinking, “What the hell! Tomorrow is overrated!”
Your job is to BE THERE when they’re ready.