As it’s been such a trying year, we’re all looking forward to a rest this Christmas. We had a chat with the man in charge to find out what he had to say about the nursery trade…
Santa, you’ve been involved with the nursery trade for a long time. In your view, why are nursery brands and retailers important?
When we’re all caught up with our busy lives and thinking about keeping afloat, it can be hard to keep sight of why nursery brands and retailers exist. Especially after a year like 2021, so many people are tired and anxious about the future. But it’s important to remember the role you all play in so many peoples’ lives.
From the excited grandparents to the nervous parents and parents-to-be to those tiny new babies so full of innocence and joy to those all around them, the nursery trade is there at the beginning of their journey in this new life-stage. You could call yourselves foundations and building blocks for their future
Obviously, you’ll see a lot of children all over the world fast asleep on the 24th December. Have you got a favourite Christmas tradition?
So long as a child is loved, safe and warm, I’m not too concerned about the details. I am very fond of the mince pies (obviously!!!). Its a secret but I love a sausage roll too – don’t tell Mrs Claus please, otherwise she will have me on a diet for the whole of 2021. I have been known to partake in a drop of brandy or a beer or two whilst on my rounds (it’s OK, I am not in charge of the sleigh – that’s Rudolph and the team’s job!). Rudolph and the team need their energy for the journey so I am always glad when there is a carrot, some milk or reindeer food left for them.
Speaking about teams…what’s your team like?
I can’t reveal too much about the behind-the-scenes operations, but I can tell you that I wouldn’t be where I am today without my team. They really are the elves and reindeer that keep Christmas running, so if there was one message I’d like to share, it’s that the teams around us – whether four-legged or two – make all the difference in the world.
As an industry, the nursery sector is made up of many teams which form one big supportive team. From frontline retailers to brands, designers and manufacturers (like the elves in the workshop), we’re all inter-linked and reliant upon one another. It’s that spirit of being part of an ecosystem that keeps us all together and interconnected.
It’s been a hard year for everyone, how have things been up at Christmas HQ?
Quiet! We’ve been elf-isolating so that we will be ready and raring to go next week. We’ve watched the pandemic unfold with great sadness, but with such admiration too. The kindness communities and individuals have shown to each other has been just wonderful and very moving.
We’ve also been made aware of the problems with the shipping industry. Of course, it’s vitally important that families have the equipment they need to look after their little ones, so we’re talking with the world leaders about the possibility of using the sleigh to help move some of the stock around the world in January to take the pressure off the ports and shipping lanes.
Who in the industry is on your nice list this year?
Well there are many who are on the good list, its hard to list them all. I have read on Nursery Online all the amazing support the brands have given to the community. I think its suffice to say, you know who you are and keep up the support in 2021 – staying on the nice list is key!
Dare we ask who is on your naughty list?
Hmmm? That would be telling, right? I think thats for me to know and you all to guess! Maybe post your thoughts on Nursery Online’s instagram page using the hashtag #nurserynaughtylist or #nurserynicelist – I am sure it will get you all talking!
If you had a message for our readers, what would it be?
So many people have had such hard times this year through illness, loss, loneliness and financial worries. I’d just like to thank and congratulate everyone for all their hard work and to remind you all there are brighter times ahead. From what I hear on my letters, there’s a baby boom on the way!
I very much hope that everyone in the Nursery Online community has a restful Christmas and that, by the time I see you all next year, we’ll be able to hug again.