Outdoor Fika Tour | A Personal Challenge During a National Pandemic

Outdoor Fika Tour

by Amy Johnson on July 28, 2020

As CRAFT’s National Sales Manager since October 2018, I have been incredibly fortunate to travel both in the US and internationally. On my first trip to meet the team in Sweden in April of 2019, I took a side trip to Dubrovnik and on my 2nd trip in October, I went to Copenhagen. Late February 2020 I was about to leave for my 3rd trip to Sweden with a detour to Italy. Clearly, coronavirus had other plans and I have been quarantined to my kitchen table since.

Many positives have come out of being quarantined. On a personal level, I have been eating healthier, working out regularly and reading more. On the work front, I have been working maybe more than ever and I know I am not alone in that. I am not complaining about this, on the contrary, I am grateful for all that I have learned in the past 4 months. Prior to corona, I barely knew what Zoom was or how to dial in to a meeting. I can now conduct meetings, webinars and create product presentation videos and so much more. I admit this was all outside my comfort zone, being in front of a camera was terrifying. No more, FaceTime me and I will answer 😊

Zoom, FaceTime, Teams and all the other platforms opened up the world and we’ve all been able to stay connected. We virtually launched the SS21 season with a virtual sales meeting for our sales reps and virtual line showings with our retailers and event partners. The line showings can now also be viewed on YouTube. All in all, I would say a successful virtual launch!

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to Eric and asked casually “So…. when do you think I can start traveling again?” He answered, “I think you could probably go by car pretty soon”. If you know me, you know I love my home in San Diego and I am always grateful to get back home but I equally love my time traveling and so with that short exchange with Eric, I started planning…. the wheels were turning. I mentioned it to my colleague Jon and asked him what he thought of me driving across the country to see accounts and show the SS21 line. He liked it and together we planned Craft’s Outdoor Fika Tour and presented it to Eric. A week later I was on the road in a rented Suburban, with my samples, a 10X10 tent (for outdoor socially distant line showings) and my bike! Next stop was to see new and existing accounts, bring them some Fika, show them some new product and be safe and distant along the way.

The plan is to travel from San Diego to the new corporate office in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA by way of AZ, CO, AL, NC and many more states in between and then back to CA by way of the OH, MI, MN, OR and a few more in between. I am excited for this adventure and to see as many CRAFT retailers that I can. In these unprecedented times of Coronavirus and Black Lives Matter I am very aware that traveling and connecting with people will be different. I am taking every precaution to stay safe myself and keep everyone else around me safe. I have been on the road 6 days so far and I have been able to do that by wearing my mask everywhere, keeping socially distant, eating in my car or hotel room, washing my hands constantly and using a ton of hand sanitizer. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you through this blog and our social channels.

Lastly, I need some local beta. Any ideas on where I should stop for some coffee or your favorite run or bike shop?