There’s no denying that 2020 has turned out to be a momentous year for everyone the world over, but not for the reasons any of us thought. From epic travels to big birthdays, celebrations, and festivals, we’ve all found ourselves putting plans on ice and having to adapt to a new way of life.
There have been dark and anxious times for many in this year that saw the world press pause. But there have been moments of pure and brilliant shining hope and optimism too. We wanted to share our lockdown story with you, the El Camino community, who’ve kept us going through thick and thin. Thank you for keeping us constantly inspired and motivated.
Heading into lockdown, apart but together
When the lockdown was first announced in the UK on 23rd March, Candace was in Morzine in France and Tom found himself between house moves living in a caravan in Porth in Cornwall, UK.
Those early days were uncertain and scary. It wasn’t long before the first glimmer of hope, however, as we realised that our customers were continuing to support El Camino, buying Home Steps to reflect life in lockdown. So much so, that we completely sold out by the end of March.
What followed was an outpouring of love and hope as people began buying Steps as gifts for friends and family, promises of trips that would still take place one day, and reminiscing about past travels. “It was only as our community started tagging us on social media that we realised what was happening,” explains Candace, “that these gifts were helping to keep spirits up”.
Small steps, big impact
As the weeks wore on, customers started asking for a dedicated Step to commemorate the lockdown. So, at the end of April we released two new special Steps:
Memories have been created for all of us during this period and it's a time we will never forget. This Small Step is a way for everyone to show how we continue to be strong together and help each other out.
This Small Step commemorates all the awesome people that have helped and are helping others during these tough times. From the key workers to anyone who's done the smallest thing to help, a way to say "thank you" to these heroes.
We decided the best way for us to make something positive out of the last few months was to donate 20% of each of these Small Step sales to NHS Charities.
“It was chaos, in the best way, after the weekend we released these Steps,” says Candace. “We raised thousands of pounds for the NHS.”
Lockdown 2020 is still our highest selling Step, followed by Home Small Step.
The next steps
Touched by all the support, and firmly rooted as we all remained at home, we decided to launch a series of 10 UK Small Steps. Starting on 25th May, one Step was released each day for 10 days, celebrating the best of Britain.
In order of most to least popular by sales to date, these are:
Lake District Small Step, Snowdonia National Park Small Step, Devon Small Step, Scottish Highlands Small Step, Ben Nevis Small Step, Stonehenge Small Step, Cotswolds Small Step, Belfast Small Step, Cardiff Small Step, and Giant’s Causeway Small Step.
The amazing El Camino team and community
The last three months would have been very different if it weren’t for our wonderful team and community. From the outset, half our team had to self-isolate, with the remainder covering more roles, working alone in the office (to dispatch orders) or from home. Sometimes we had both a day and night shift to stay on top of orders, but everyone was committed to keeping at it. We feel extremely lucky to work with such a great bunch.
From helping to spread the El Camino word via social media, to sending lovely messages and emails to us, we couldn’t have done it without our very special community. We have always said that we’re lucky to have such an amazing community and it really showed through lockdown. Even when some orders were taking longer than normal to fulfil, everyone was so understanding and kind. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
We hope you’re keeping safe and well wherever you are. We love reading your comments on social media and would love to hear your lockdown stories.