While closed we held multiple management meetings and took care of a lot of planning for the coming months–it was really about the only thing we could do with very limited staff. During the time we were closed we paid employees 100% pay and benefits for four and a half weeks. We were permitted to reopen under CISA guideline clarifications a couple weeks early but that also came with difficulty. Without going into the details of those difficulties and challenges to be compliant, the months of May and June were brutal. In addition to working through the transition of dropping a vendor we had record sales for those two months in addition to thousands of orders that came in during the closure. We had always prided ourselves on 24-hour shipping but had to tell our customers it would be much longer until we could catch up. At one point we had approximately 10 days worth of orders backlogged to ship while record sales were still coming in. It took exactly 60 days for us to return to 24-hour shipping.
Our warehouse expansion was put on hold for four months during this time and the change started in early August. I had to pull back from marketing and other aspects to head up that challenge and after several weeks, it finally had taken shape. We were rapidly moving into the shopping season and due to some higher level issues, I decided to tender my resignation as CEO of 143VINYL™ on November 24, 2020, effective immediately. The timing of my resignation was hard on the employees with Black Friday coming but unfortunately other factors dictated that timing. There are more than 100 employees there that I love dearly and I would never discourage a customer from purchasing from them. My departure was not a reflection on the employees whatsoever. The day I posted my resignation publicly was a difficult day. I cried on my wife’s shoulder during the hour it took me to press that button because I knew (a) it was like jumping off a bridge with no turning back and (b) the timing while uncontrollable, made everything difficult on everyone.
What am I doing now? While I enjoy the holidays with my family and wait to see what the future holds, I’m working on this site, TroyGram. I’ve turned what was initially a simple site to create monograms for crafters and turned it into a social networking community for crafters. I do not know where this will lead, if anywhere, but I know many people would love to have a community outside of mainstream social media to get together online. I do know that I will end up where I’m meant to be. That is for certain.