Not So Fun Fact: Did you know Instagram doesn't allow you to engage in paid post as a start-up for the first 4 months you're in business? Unless, of course, you pony up with a PR firm and also cough up a shit ton of money to do so (money we don't have). Not even sure how blocking small start-up businesses from paid advertising is legal but it 100% sucks.
Did you also know that Facebook and Instagram both actively block any content relating to "masks"? So much as mention "mask" and the algorithm will come for you, your soul, and perhaps even your first born. Many of our paid post attempts on Facebook have been blocked repeatedly simply because we're selling masks. Deeming it "controversial content". Even when we don't mention "mask" at all. Our bad. So sorry, we didn't realize trying to provide people with an accessory deemed medically necessary and also required by law (in most states) was "controversial". Especially ya know, when we're donating more masks and filters than we're selling. You'd think they'd want to support a women owned start-up period, but also those actively giving back. Silly us.
Did you also know that Amazon basically owns every shipping carrier in this country? Earlier this month you may have seen our social media post explaining the extensive delays to our shipments. Obviously there are a variety of issues in logistics, supply chain, and shipping as a natural result of a global pandemic. However, those issues are only amplified for small businesses like ours because Amazon shipments take priority in the eyes of shipping carriers. Without Amazon many of them would go out of business, we get it. But without those shipping carriers full support, we will go out of business.
So what's a start-up to do? Like most start-ups, especially women owned, we do not have investors. We're proud of this but it absolutely makes it 10000x harder to get the necessary attention we deserve. We can't afford a fancy PR firm, the few dollas we do have, we had hoped to expend on Facebook and Instagram paid posts but those ads, as noted above, are being blocked. The media seems to exclusively feature sad, depressing, anxiety provoking news rather than spotlight stories regarding organizations or small-businesses working tirelessly to do big kind things for their country. While yes, some media outlets like Vogue and InStyle have written online articles featuring some mask brands, most of those features were paid for, or they are being paid for after the fact with commissions earned on sales rendered as a result of customer click throughs generated by those articles.
So...all we can do is keep forging ahead, and we will. Despite the recession, despite ad blocking, despite the delays in shipping, despite the media...we will carry on. Why? Because as of this Friday August 28th we will have donated upwards of 14,000 fabric masks and 14,000 mask filters to hospitals and non-profit organizations all over the country. That kind of big donation energy is what we're here for and we hope you are too.
Thank you to those of you who've purchased from us. Thank you to those of you who've taken the time to tell a friend, or many friends, or family about our brand, our masks, and our mission. Thank you to those of you who've left reviews on our site and posted pictures on social media. The truth is, without you we wouldn't exist.
Stay safe, stay stylish, stay humble.
Founder & CEO, Love Saves Apparel PBC