We're still operating as normal!
So, it seems we are living in interesting times. This page updated 1/5/20
Equus is continuing to operate as normally as possible, within the spirit and letter of the current guidance. In a situation as fluid as this its impossible to have an up to date statement, but currently our day to day operations are largely unaffected. We continue to make orders as usual, with some small delays as parcelling and posting is being done in larger batches than usual to minimise journeys for all concerned. We have reasonable stocks or leather and fittings and as it stands our primary suppliers are still open for business and have stocks of our raw materials. Some work is being done at the workshop where it has to be, admin and other work that can be done from home is being done that way to minimise travel and contacts. Our phones are therefore intermittently manned, but we will alway respond to voicemails and emails ASAP. We are observing the utmost hygiene in line with the guidance, but if you have an order with us and you prefer us to hold the completed parcel until a future date thats fine. Likewise if you need to change delivery addresses just let us know. We plan to operate like this as long as we are able, and if we are forced to close by good sense, guidance or legislation we will close the workshops and members of staff will work entirely from home - less than ideal (or we'd have done it already), but workable. We intend to weather this storm and keep our craftsmen on throughout this crises. We started Equus to help prevent the skills we use from dying, and we will not allow this crises to kill them either. If you're able to support us with this by placing an order at this time we thank you in advance - we will get all orders made in as timely a manner as we can.
Some Thoughts (written around the 14th March 2020 - here for posterity and context)
Even the most pessimistic 6 months ago wouldn’t have really believed that we could be where we seem to be today, a world of isolation, worsening news every day and crashing stock markets. And yet the curlews are starting to arrive for Spring, the Daffodils are starting to look up at the sun with their wonderful yellow trumpets, the Lapwings are calling with their haunting but beautiful cry and the Mad March hares will soon indeed be considered insane.
Here at Equus life is continuing with the maximum normality that we can. Dawn, Charlie, most importantly Bertie and all the rest of our small team are fine, making, parcelling and sending our orders as normal. The feel of a pricking iron or a round knife in the hand is a reassuring reminder that our craft has survived the cataclysms of World Wars and Spanish flu (and in fact I have tools in our workshop that have literally done both) and I know that we’ll get through this.
Ive spent quite a lot of the last few days talking to people, checking they’re ok. At its heart this is a people business. I know by name and voice the people who own and run all our suppliers as well as most of you, our hugely valued customers. I’ve built this business over the last 12 years with a passion for the craft, but also a passion for the wonderful people involved. We have very direct links with both our English and French leather and hardware suppliers and our customers, and the most import thing to me is that all the people that make this wonderful business what it is are OK. The overwhelming and unifying theme Ive found from my conversations is the stoicism and grit of people determined to continue preserving the crafts and businesses they value so much, and we feel the same. There may be tough times ahead, but surely while the craftsmen involved are determined to preserver we will all be ok.
Im sure that in the days to come there are going to be bumps in the road. Postage might take longer, there will be shortage of particular things from time to time, there are going to be difficulties, but none of them will be insurmountable. We will keep making orders to the very best of our abilities to a standard that means they will still be here long after Corvid 19 is simply the awful memory to which it will soon be consigned. Please bear with us a little in the mean time if you have an order in the book, and if not please keep buying so we can hold those tools in our hands and feel a little of the generations of craftsmen who came before who had to face difficulties so much greater than those currently in front of us. We will get through this together, with grace, perseverance and courage.
To close, Invictus, a wonderful peom by William Ernest Henley, a rock in a troubled sea for many people
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.