Firstly, thank you ALL, who have been so supportive of the Betty and our mission.
Your love and support has kept Betty Belts alive. We would not be here today, without your loving consideration and ultra generous support!
I get calls daily now, much of it in response to News Reports that we are free to open again.
Well that is sort of true, and at the same time isn’t…
A little History.
When all the Pandemic craziness began, I found myself dealing with a terrified staff who let me know that they did not feel safe working in our store, due to what they had been told about this “novel corona virus” that would kill everyone.
I told them that they should leave if they did not feel safe. So basically, 4 full time staff walked off. (We did not blame them) Two found new jobs and two others we laid off, so that they could file for unemployment and protect their incomes. We encouraged them to do so.
Reality being, that we did not know what would become of the company (or all of us) considering the wild information being injected into minds and hearts about a “pandemic” by the State and County, and being amplified by news media.
Our CEO demanded we stay open. He actually had a head start on information regarding the virus, due to a think tank type study group he was invited into at the beginning of the year. So at his and our Board’s direction, we stayed open, while being threatened by the Authorities. We did this in order to help calm and reassure our Community, as well as try to preserve our company and remaining staff.
I think we may have been among the last of the “non essential businesses” (such an insult that term is to us) to close as a result.
We then quietly endeavored to fulfill our duty to you, as well as our remaining staff here and on Bali.
It was a pretty scary time. But we did it. Together, our remaining staff, our customers and our large team on Bali. We just kept putting one foot in front of another, as all of us fought our way through that awful time. Which brings us to the present, and the reason for this lengthy note.
We are not able to open for regular store visits just yet.
This is why.
The County wants us to register to re open. It has supplied a list of requirements which in signing to re open we would be obligated to comply with. Doing so would jeopardize the Company, our staff and you. Our legal advisors have confirmed this.
As a business we have no legal standing to force our staff or customers to do what the County lists and in some instances, those things are impossible.
Here is why that matters to us as a Business.
Regulatory control is based on application of punishments for “breaking the rules”.
If an employee or customer, or a Regulatory Control official (Think Health Inspector, Zoning and Code enforcement officer, Police Officer) or even if a member of the Public, were to report Betty Belts as being in violation of these rules, we instantly become guilty and must prove our innocence.
During this Pandemic, Businesses were threatened with large fines and Owners with Jail time, for being in violation of Muni, County and State “orders”. This was actually happening to people we know! The City, County and State cited and fined both business owners and people in our Community for “breaking the rules”. Many of those rules bordering on the edge of reason if one equated them to control of a virus-illness. We had to face it. These were often crazy things that we witnessed being done.
What we are doing as a Brand.
Betty Belts will continue to do our best to safely serve our community and fulfill orders through our online system. Porch pickup will continue to be offered and we will do our best to provide personalized service and fast turn around on all orders.
Our hope is as things settle in, we will be open in a limited capacity and hours for our customers, as we are able to train new staff, re set and re organize our company in order to safely manage the serious challenges we are facing as a sustainably themed company.
We hope to have a more firm date for reopening available by next week.
My staff and I, our artisans on Bali, indeed our entire Ocean Tribe, we are all really in this together. Thank you for being who and what you are. You matter most in all of this!
Donna von Hoesslin-Pu’u
Founder Designer- Betty Belts
Ocean Ohana Inc.