Celebrating International Women's Day 2021

It’s certainly been a challenging year since last International Women’s Day. Who would have had the slightest inkling of how our lives would change so dramatically and so quickly.

Despite facing such difficult and uncertain times, women, as always, rolled up their sleeves and dealt with it. From saving lives, to home schooling, furlough, business survival, managing finances, pivoting, this year has required more resilience than ever before.

As reported in the Guardian, it seems that Women have really stepped up. ‘It appears that countries led by women had “systematically and significantly better” Covid-19 outcomes, research appears to show, locking down earlier and suffering half as many deaths on average as those led by men.

The relative early success of leaders such as Germany’s Angela Merkel, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen, Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen and Finland’s Sanna Marin has so far attracted many headlines but little academic attention.

The analysis of 194 countries, published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum, suggests the difference is real and “may be explained by the proactive and coordinated policy responses” adopted by female leaders.’

So how did we fare in the world of Dandi London? As two sisters and entrepreneurs, we had spent a number of years building up our business. Our signature product and invention, the dandi patch, awarded Invention of the Year 2015, had become increasingly popular as we gradually built up the business to a point where we had 3 products and increasing sales. Then, as with  many other businesses, we suddenly found ourselves in completely unchartered and unexpected territory.

Our main products prevent embarrassing underarm sweat marks, they are for people who are out and about, working, socialising, having fun and wanting to look their best. Suddenly, people stopped going out, work was being done from home and the personal, face-to-face aspect of life was no longer happening.

We faced the same daunting realization that other business owners and entrepreneurs faced; we could either ride it out and hope for the best, or we could do something about it. Our first step was to consider what we thought at the time was the worst case scenario; that the pandemic might last as long as a year (who’d have thought…?) and how we could survive that. Then when we had figured that out, our fighting spirit really came through; we didn’t just want to survive this situation, we wanted to come out of this with more!

And so we got creative. Filling the gap by generating other streams of income whilst focussing on building the brand and widening our product range. It kept us busy, interested and motivated. We now have one new product almost ready to launch and another two planned for later this year.   

Then along came one of Britain’s best loved and super talented; Denise Van Outen. Such an inspirational woman. How many of us would even attempt Dancing on Ice, let alone break our shoulder in 3 places, come out smiling and simply carry on! We were so excited at the prospect of introducing her to our product. Little did we know the effect it would have, Denise loves dandi, our sales rocketed and we completely sold out! Certainly not what we expected in the midst of a pandemic.   

This year has certainly shown us the absolute powerhouse that is women coming together. We owe special thanks to; The amazing Becky Mullins at WeareFep for continued support and collaboration and to Rachel Moore and team at Moore Exhibitions who are bringing us the first ever annual Essex Beauty Show, which we are delighted to be sponsoring. A great event to look forward to later in the year.

We are also incredibly excited to be working with AEW as headline sponsors for ‘An Experience with Mel Gibson’ across four UK locations in November.

This last year will never be forgotten. We faced it head on, we coped, and we did whatever we could to get through it. Women Rock!

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