Oh, we have been on such an adventure! As a product distributor, we have been painfully aware of supply chain challenges coming at us from all angles. First, it was shutdowns from the pandemic, then the Suez Canal, then labour shortages, and most recently, the natural disaster in British Columbia that caused flooding, mudslides, and the closure of all roads out of the province.
Our hearts have been with our colleagues and friends at Moor Spa, and we are grateful that they are all safe.
So, we had a large skid waiting for shipment from BC, but we learned from ICE Logistics, our long-term provider of logistics support, that there were no trucks coming from BC, no heated train service, and air freight was impossibly expensive (and had a 7-day delay to even get a shipment on a flight!).
We decided that our only option left was to fly to Vancouver and drive our products back to Ontario.
Now that we have (mostly) recovered from the VERY long trip, and the warehouse has been cleared of holiday orders, we've taken a moment to reflect on the many things we have come to appreciate.
First, and always - my husband Tim, who keeps the home fires burning. He has been the unsung hero for the 27 years we have been together.
Our team - Nicole, Katrina, Ros, and Mackenzie; who bring their professionalism, creativity, hard work, and faith every single day. We sent videos and photos of our journey to them, which they turned into awesome TikTok videos.
This country - Canada is unbelievably huge, and I don’t think we spend enough time appreciating our diversity - both geographic and human.
Music - listening to more than 11 hours of music on our collaborative Spotify playlist, chosen for us by the people who are cheering us on. There were witty and thoughtful selections on the theme of a mission, adventure, road trips, and sheer craziness. My husband contributed my favourite songs, and that helped to make us feel more connected. The only thing I'd like to know is - who thought of "I'd Like a Hippopotamus for Christmas"? We laughed so hard at that.
The people who cheered us on. Your thoughtful messages, your donations to the fundraiser for the BC SPCA, your likes and shares. We're also grateful to Kawartha Now magazine for taking the time to find out about what we’re doing, and raising awareness of the supply chain issues that are facing so many small businesses.
The people who work in all the places that support travellers. It’s a very stressful time to travel (we certainly wouldn’t have done it if we felt we had any other choice). I’m grateful for the people at Tim Hortons (and all the local restaurants and coffee shops that aren't Tim Hortons), underpaid, understaffed and often underappreciated. I’m grateful for attendants at gas stations who took an extra minute to clean our headlights.
Truck drivers - our trip showed us the many challenges inherent in getting goods from one place to another. The mountains, the winter weather, the construction, and the unexpected things like a power outage in the town you planned to get gas and eat supper in. They have a tough job, and are the invisible heroes of the supply chain.
My knitting - I finished (most of) the Christmas presents I’ve been working on. It's so important to keep your hands busy during the many hours where there's not enough cell service to get any work done.
The Internet - it’s what allowed me to upload video from Thunder Bay today, allowed me to work from the car, and stay connected to clients and our team. If you’ve ever been a road warrior in the days before Internet access, you’ll have a real appreciation.
Finally, my business partner, Will, who drives the car (always), who shares the brain, and who I can ultimately count on to honour our core beliefs of integrity and service in our business.