Aside from stating the obvious, like the news does, loving to compare current events to Hitler's seizing Poland, let's just say the current situation, on top of ongoing Co-Vid related issues, has made thing even more challenging here.
My thoughts are with a lady named Iryna, and her husband Andri....... You don't know them, but they're a pretty vital part to the goings on here. They're the brains behind the website, and do most of the catalog/web updates, photo editing, package design, etc for me. Basically, they're my "virtual office & art staff"
They work remotely, from their home in Khmelnitsky, is in the center of the Ukraine, about 30-35 miles from Kiev. I've been in touch with them, things aren't going well. They have to seek the air raid shelter 2-3 times a day, and are preparing to flee their home at the first opportunity. Let's all send them our best thoughts, and hope there's a happy ending for them, somewhere, soon!
So, as you can guess, the whole website/catalog/almost everything else that happens in the office, is back down to yours truly, so please bear with me, because honestly, Iryna & Andri had their own way (the RIGHT way) of doing things, and I'm about 10-15 years behind the tech curve, so I'm slogging along trying to pick up the slack.
The shortages caused by the "covid supply chain", or whatever it's called, are also starting to make themselves known here....I've been getting emails from the glassblowers in Germany, saying they're having difficulty getting glass tubing & lacquers, there's major shipping problems, etc....Even here, I'm scrambling around trying to find certain paints & mold making materials, some paints are on a six month to 1 year backlog, and the other guys I deal with, for the incense, smokers, mirror ponds, etc, all seem to be going through the same thing.
Then, there's that whole "inflation" thing...I'm trying my best to keep prices in line, but certain things have gone crazy....the metal I use, went from 35 cents a pound at the scrapyard, to almost three bucks! I'm afraid to see how much it'll cost to bring in my next shipment from Europe...last year I imported a car from Japan, the shipping from Osaka to NY was a little over 3 grand....I was looking last month, at another car, this time in Italy....Shipping would be almost 6 thousand, and the distance was half of what the other car was last year....This doesn't bode well, not so much for me, but for all of us, because I doubt all the companies that are importing stuff, are going to eat those kinds of expenses for very long....
Any-hoo, just wanted to touch base with my fellow Barclaydians, so they have a little more insight into the why's of "why is it so difficult to get in touch with you sometimes?" The short answer: I'm in over my head & I'm running all over the place. But, mor importantly, let's hope my Ukrainian friends are safe.......