I was woken early Saturday morning by a text message from a friend. It read “Have you seen the news? That’s not your warehouse is it?” My heart stopped, as a picture of a warehouse engulfed in flames came through on my phone. I knew straight away, it was unmistakable. It was the roller shutter door to the actual 7L warehouse unit.
I jumped out of bed, throwing some clothes on and set off down the A34 bypass towards the warehouse. I hoped there might be a slim possibility that it was a different one, but when I got closer I could see the thick black smoke bellowing into the air.
Parking close by I jumped out the car and ran down to the site. A fire fighter stopped me and said “There is nothing left mate. We are just keeping the fire under control now, but everything inside has gone. Sorry bud”.
For a while, I stood, in shock, just watching. The fire crews each took it in turns to say they were sorry, as the shock must have been etched all over my face. A man stood next to me, he was crying. Turns out he wasn’t insured for his unit.
I’ve had a few bumps in the road with this brand, like any brand or business owner, but launching the brand into the middle of an unforeseeable and unprecedented pandemic wasn’t enough……now this…….it’s a tough one to swallow.
The messages, texts, calls, emails from our customers, fans and followers, industry colleagues was overwhelming, but obviously fantastic and we are very grateful to all.
It didn’t hit me for a couple of days. But then it hit me hard. For about two days I was walking around, not really thinking about anything. I was still in disbelieve.
I shut the website down and put a post on instagram informing everyone what had happened.
I had to rethink the next 2-3 years quickly, because what we deliver as a brand, takes months and months to create, direct, design, procure, manufacture and market.
I couldn’t believe my phone. It was buzzing with constant messages, calls and emails of support.
Dusting myself off, I started to reach out to people and come up with a strategy and what we could do as all of our SS22 and AW22 stock was now hot ash. We literally only have left whats in the 7L Store, which is all now on the website too. It’s not much.
It’s not over……not yet anyway!
We have a very professional, skilled, loyal and hardworking supply chain who have already started putting the wheels in motion. Our global suppliers from Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, China, Portugal, the UK, Spain, France, America, Vietnam and the US are all supporting us to get back on our feet. Finding ways and resource to make sure we have something for summer and a season for winter.
From all of us here at 7L we thank you all for the support you have shown us. It’s been a tough couple and years and this week, emotional but we promise to work hard and produce some killer pieces for this summer and winter 22.
Jamie and the 7L team.