An update for our customers: things are shifting here at Willow Ship HQ
After more than a decade of the current version of Willow Ship, we have an exciting business re-direction in the works for 2024: a re-brand and re-imagining of our entire line.
The work that we currently do has (mostly) been a labor of love, feeding our creative spirits (and literally feeding us), fulfilling our desire to run a locally-based, hand-crafted business. But some of our ideas have shifted... the market has shifted... our resources are shifting... and we're growing in a new direction.
What's behind this change? Hopefully not a complete surprise to you: 2023 has been a weird, bad year for many small businesses—especially the maker businesses. Every time I pop on Instagram, I see many, many small brands suffering and closing. I'm sure you see it too; it's just hard out here. It's been hard for us, in certain ways. Our website sales have been up, but other important partner income has been down. Overall, the post-lockdown buying euphoria has definitely cooled, and many small businesses are feeling it. (Reminder to shop small/local this holiday! It's literally how most small, product-based businesses survive the rest of the year.)
The good news about getting uncomfortable is that it can force you into needed change and ideas that have been simmering in the background—if you're open to it. We're very much open. We need to chase some new directions. We need to find more work-life balance in this family-run business. We need to make this brand sustainable for another decade. We're feeling energized and ready for what's next.
Here are a couple of things to know for now:
- This Fall, for our current line, we're focused on moving through the inventory we have on hand. That means many styles will sell out permanently. Quite a few long-running styles are already gone. This is your reminder to shop early! (Get on our Insider list to access our best, email-only sale codes and gifts-with-purchase. We're feeling very generous this year.)
- We're not doing any in-person holiday markets in Portland or Seattle this year, so shopping online with us is the way to go.
- The future of Willow Ship is going to be focused on gifting, joy, connection, graphic design and creative risk-taking — and I hope you decide to stick around after our big shift! Be sure to follow on IG and subscribe for the juiciest updates.
More soon! Thanks for being with us.
Founder & Creative Director