This year has been a challenge for many, especially for underprivileged communities who live hand to mouth and the Lumago ladies and their families are absolutely no exception. We have had to adjust and mould to the new norms at lightning speed to survive. Lumago provides a regular and fair income for the mothers we employ, but it is by no means the main income of a household. Most of the other family members of our artisans lost their jobs or were unable to work during the lockdown and we struggled to make ends meet through more online promotion and donations from loyal customers and friends so we could keep the mothers employed and the families fed. Instead of focusing on skills workshops and education and health care, our priorities were downgraded to our everyday basic needs of food and water.
As the majority of people across the globe were not leaving their houses, they have no desire to purchase jewelry and this has been a big challenge. Our product has become almost obsolete. Although we have dabbled in houseware before, it has never taken off and we always decided to stick with jewelry, that is what we know and do well. This year however, we started looking at it in a different way, we had more time on our hands and therefore started to make simple but elegant pieces for the home, expand on custom made body necklaces, ear cuffs and experiment with new upcycled materials. The mothers now are struggling immensely with the kids and their school modules, through self learning at home, yet another challenge during this pandemic; they have to become teachers as well.
We have high hopes for the future that we can be creating again with our regular orders once more. Until then we continue to innovate and adjust to the new normals as best we can to survive.