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September is here and it is BACK TO SCHOOL!  It kind of feels like it's been Back to School all summer.  I know I should have blogged before now (4 months), but I honestly have been so busy filling orders from the "BIG SURGE" in June that I lost track of time. 

We all know that 2020 Back To School is different than any other return to school year.  With COVID safety concerns and some schools in session in their buildings and others doing Distance Learning or a combination, it's not been easy for  parents, educators and the students.  But we know that this too, is something we can manage and we will survive. But the good new is, we are now offering a 5% Discount on EVERYTHING in the Store and FREE Priority Mail  Shipping on $75+

These times, however are very challenging.  Even though, I had been in business 20 years (this is our 20the Year Anniversary), nothing could have prepared me for what I call "The Big Surge".  We  had to ramp up quickly to meet the demand of new online consumers and distance learning.  We had alot of inventory, but it flew out the door fast as Google and Social Media finally discovered my store. 

I had to hire and train new people, get new equipment and basically restructure office and operations. We were doing great selling to school districts and doing purchase orders, (I've developed many great relationships over the years) but basically my online store was my catalog.  No worries, I could order the collections the schools wanted in the larger quantities and always ship on time.  And any few orders I received online was a bonus.  Even though I was promoting on Facebook and Linked In, I did not really get noticed online till the surge.  I was lucky that new online store theme that I created in April was ready just in time.  Like other booksellers, we felt the immediate shock of global delays from our suppliers, who are the largest publishers in the world and I realized that we were not going to be able to ship on time.  People were worried about their orders and delivery schedules not realizing that nearly everything that involved commerce in the United States was taking alot longer because most people still had not returned to work.  I was working 16 hours days and refused to leave my home till every order had shipped, and true I did not leave my home for 14 weeks.  (It was a nightmare and a blessing at the same time). 

But we held on and navigated through all the social unrest, shipping delays, emails, missing orders, online security checks and phone calls from customers.  Despite all that, what a blessing!  Ashay By The Bay has emerged stronger than ever.  We are being shared and liked by thousands of people from all over the world, who love our children and adult book collections.   So for everyone who shared or liked my website, I say thank you.  And for the my new "great" new customers who purchased and was so patient, I say "double thank you for supporting a Black Business!"  And to the Ashay By The Bay Team, I say, "I could not have got it done without you.  And to everyone, just know that Ashay by the Bay the #1 Black Children's Bookstore will be here for a few more years.

Looking forward to your next order, I will blog again soon with more updates!

Next article May Madness and Social Distancing

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