Back in 2008 there was a global financial crisis. At the time I had a few design projects in process with different companies in Portugal and abroad. It all stopped from one week to the next and in 2009 I went bankrupt. As most product designers, I was working on a royalties basis with no design fees to pay for my work. I had no redundancies and I hit hard.
In 2010 I began working on a project that would later become Ghome. Back then I never imagined that 6 years later my office would start a design brand. My main goal was to build up a redundant working system for myself, while trying to make sense of why so many companies much bigger than mine were so vulnerable. The idea was to put up a design practice capable of assuming responsibility for the whole spectrum of product development: from concept design to technical development, production and sales. The biggest challenge being: to build up an audience and sell the products directly to them. The business strategy was: to focus on well designed, ethical and low-impact products; to have a non-industrial supply chain built on local manufacture and local raw materials; prioritize local sales; and foster profit outcomes beyond financial performance.
2010 is not that long ago. And today, a new global crisis hits again! Covid-19 pandemic is a global humanitarian crisis. But because it’s hitting the hardest on the richest part of the world, its economical implications will most likely be massive. Hopefully, due to both political and civic efforts, this pandemic will be under control sooner rather than later, and with a low fatality rate. However, economically, both individuals and companies might be facing rather interesting times ahead.
Ghome was founded by my office in November 2016, as the positive outcome of a strategy to overcome a financial crisis. It might be that Ghome’s DNA is crisis resistant, I don’t know. What I do know is that this time my business is not being hit hard. At least not harder than most, and surely less hard than many. Likewise most brands not dealing with primary need products, Ghome isn’t selling anything! But in my opinion, these are not times for pushing sales. The focus should be humanitarian! Being able to pause the core of my business, in order to focus on what really matters right now, gives me a good feeling.
One might think that Ghome is too small to be affected by this global crisis. To that I have no answer. But to stay small is a deliberate choice, and in many respects a great business challenge. A challenge eased by the fact of Ghome supplying itself locally and selling directly to you. For this I thank you! Because of you, Ghome has been able to stay small avoiding the wholesale market. To stay small allows lowering negative impact while maximizing positive one. Once again, THANK YOU! Everytime you choose Ghome you make it stronger by helping it stay small.
Ghome will resume activity when it’s safe. Until then, focus on what’s important, stay strong and help each other!