I recently sent this message to our newsletter subscribers and am reposting it here to share it more widely.
I’ve held off on posting this over the last two weeks because, honestly, I didn’t know what to say. I always want Tortuga posts to be helpful, not annoying. I doubted whether we had anything to add to the conversation.
But, over the last few weeks, I’ve found that connecting with friends, family, and fellow business owners has been helpful for me. This post is a means to connect.
For now, I’ll ask: how are you holding up?
For me, sheltering-in-place has been a reminder to be grateful. Grateful for the freedoms of our everyday lives. Grateful for the people whom we care about and who care about us. And, in our case, grateful for you: Tortuga customers, readers, and subscribers.
Like most retailers and everyone in the travel industry, our business is hurting right now. But we’re coming up on our tenth anniversary in a few months and are looking forward to celebrating that milestone, even if under less-than-ideal circumstances.
Tortuga is still open for business. We’re taking and shipping orders as usual. As a small, bootstrapped company, cash flow is critical for us. Your support right now is more important than ever.
If you can’t afford new luggage, please do not buy anything. We understand that many people are in a tough financial position. But I hope that you’ll forgive this pitch as we’re a small, self-funded company fighting to stay in business and to keep our team together through the next few months.
When we can do so safely, I’m eager to travel again. My upcoming travel plans—Portland in May and Italy in late summer—are on hold. The pandemic has been a reminder that we are all in this together. Being confined to my apartment has only made me hungrier to see and experience the world.
When I worry about the future or how the world might change, I remind myself that people love to travel. The travel bans and border closings are scary, but we will travel again. This World Bank chart from Skift is a good reminder.
How can we best support you right now? If you just want to connect or say hello, email us at [hello at tortugabackpacks.com] to this email. I’ll read and reply to everyone directly. I’d also love to know where you plan to travel when the global crisis has passed. Many cities and countries will need our tourism dollars, and I’ve benefited from thinking positively about the future, including my own travels.
In our next few newsletters, I want to share with you our advice for managing flights that were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, as well as tips for working from home from a fully remote CEO. You can join the newsletter at the bottom of this post.
Thank you again for your support. We’ve been doing this for nearly ten years because of you.
Fred and the Tortuga Team