Year in Review 2020
As 2020 comes to a close, we look back at a year that began the new decade in an exceptional way. Such is a time when we reflect back and appreciate the simpler things in life. We choose to remember the things that have brought us hope and optimism throughout such challenging times.
One of the most exciting events for this year we had planned was a voyage to Huvadhu Atoll of Maldives. In February, we visited all the inhabited islands of the largest atoll of Maldives, with a small group of individuals. This ‘expedition’ was a research trip about the intangible heritage of Maldives. Such trips inspire us in our works to learn more about our beautiful culture. Back then, little did we know how profound an experience like this would be for us in an unprecedented year.
Launching our online shop in early March was a big milestone for us. Especially for a brand fully based in a location like Maldives with it’s banking limitations and logistical issues in terms of transportation. In a digitalised world our customers love to engage with us online. Likewise, we reciprocate back with our continuously evolving collections, information on our designs as well as blog posts like this. Initially we started delivery within the Maldives, however when the lockdown eased a little and more air travel began, we now deliver worldwide.
We’ve always celebrated women at Island Bazaar considering the work done by women within our communities. Most local artisanal products we house are made by very talented women. To appreciate this and convey their stories, we held a women’s day event in March as an intimate chat organised with our family of local artisans and brands.
Despite the joyous atmosphere, a few days later Greater Malé area went into lockdown on March the 15th.
The pandemic soon reached our shores. Consequently, as Greater Malé went into a strict lockdown, our boutique in the city and online shop was completely shutdown for 3 months. We never imagined that our boutique would not be able to receive customers for such an extended time. This was a tough period for us, much like many other people who went through this unusual experience. During such times we are grateful we live in a digitalised world where we found ways to keep in touch with our followers and keep our spirits alive.
Everyday Heroes during Eid
Eid is a special festive holidays that we celebrate in our islands. As we were in lockdown for Eid, to observe the spirit of community and giving, we thanked and honoured our everyday heroes with special gifts. By reaching out to our followers on Instagram, we were able to identify friends, neighbours and professionals who’s compassion and acts of kindness inspire us everyday. In line with our ethos, we believe kindness is contagious, and it is one of the biggest lessons from 2020.
With our new collection for 2021, we celebrate the little things and special moments in our everyday life. Hukuru (meaning Friday in Dhivehi) embodies the weekend spirit when we tend to our homes and spend time with our loved ones. In a year we couldn’t plan our journeys, we took joy in appreciating the simpler moments. The collection invokes the holiday spirit and island charm, with some designs done in collaboration with local artists Fathimath Azleena, Azoo.
And initiative that was started over a year ago, Island Loop has become our most cherished cause to give back to our community. This year, we contributed to two local non-profit organisations Care Society and Maldivian Red Crescent and will be donating to Society for Health Education (SHE) as our final quarter recipient. By contributing to our local communities, we wish to spread awareness into the incredible works they do and wish them strength, hope and growth always.
In closing, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our island and local communities. It is you who have kept us afloat in turbulent waters, even before Covid and your support was vital in keeping us moving forward throughout 2020.
We look forward to 2021 with hope of a new kind of journey. We wish everyone good health, love, light and prosperity in the year ahead.
Thank you for being part of our journey.
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