Reflecting on 2020 – A Year of Unexpected Growth

Twenty-twenty brought with it a lot of unexpected changes that pushed us forward, made us rethink things, and created opportunities for change.

More restaurants opened up outdoor patios. Dogs and cats waiting at animal shelters got adopted. Nurses, teachers, and grocery workers got a lot of overdue appreciation. Families living together in the same household spent more quality time together. Solo hobbies started trending: baking homemade bread, going on long walks, doing solo work-outs, even recreating works of art in the #GettyMuseumChallenge.

It seems that despite the obstacles thrown at all of us, there were valuable lessons learned and takeaways that made this year special. Gratitude certainly helps put things in perspective and makes preparing for New Year’s a lot more positive, so why not focus on the highlights?

Here are a few of our memorable moments:

1) Learning to connect at virtual shows

Botanical PaperWorks CEO and Co-Founder doing a planting demonstration for a LIVE Webinar and the Customer Service team chatting online.

Our team pulled together and attended our first virtual trade show: PPPC’s Natcon Virtual 2020. We took advantage of the opportunity and created a system for online video chatting to hosting a papermaking demonstration on a LIVE Zoom Webinar. The feedback we got on our virtual booth was overwhelmingly positive, making the experience one to remember.

2) Changing our production facility vastly, quickly, and efficiently to create a safely distanced work environment

Botanical PaperWorks team members meeting outdoors while physically distanced.

Thanks in large part to our Production Manager Al, everyone on the team worked together to adjust to the new distancing, masking, and sanitization guidelines. Desks and work areas rearranged, large plexiglass panels went up, and we all continued to produce and manufacture seed paper products in a safe environment. We even set up long tables outside in the summer for outdoor meetings!

3) Launching a new website that integrates with internal processes for more efficient workflow and improved user experience

Botanical PaperWorks new website

After many months of effort, from data updates, to design plans, to plugin logistics, we polished up our online presence to make it easier for visitors to navigate and staff to help customers behind-the-scenes, while still maintaining the same products and blog content that makes us who we are.

4) Continuing to celebrate and connect with each other from a far.

Botanical PaperWorks team members holding up 'Happy Birthday' signs.

Somehow, we got to “see” each other without actually being physically together. On team members’ Birthdays, we held up Happy Birthday signs and took photos to share with them. Our CEO and Co-Founder Heidi shared bi-weekly video update messages to the team’s online messageboard. Team meetings and end-of-project cocktail celebrations moved to video calls. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

5) Building our capacity to handle change and becoming stronger

CEO and Co-Founder of Botanical PaperWorks Heidi Reimer-Epp celebrating reunion with employees after 140 days apart.

Despite consistently changing updates on the global situation, our team prepared as much as possible and focused on staying positive. It helped to share inspiration and humor whenever we could and celebrate the small things.

6) Working with so many businesses that were also changing and evolving their marketing and sales tactics 

Lifestyles Promotions social distancing survivor kits including a 'Love' pin and plantable seed paper tag.

It was wonderful to see the creativity and expanding capacities of the businesses we worked with this year. Marketing messages changed. Contactless delivery teams started up. In-person consultation switched to online video calls. They adapted and made communities stronger as a result.

7) Becoming WBE Canada-Certified Women Business Enterprise

Canadian Women Brand Emblem - WBE Canada Certified

Botanical PaperWorks is now certified as a Women Business Enterprise by the Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada), Canada’s largest third-party certifier of the businesses owned and operated by women.

While this official certification is new for us, being a women-founded and women-led business is not. The company started when Mary and Heidi (mother and daughter) teamed up to start an eco-friendly handmade paper business in the late 90s. The company quickly grew to specialize in seed paper and is now a world-leading producer of eco-friendly plantable products that grow into wildflowers, herbs, or vegetables.

What 2020 taught us the most was to keep going and growing, no matter what. All in all, we believe things can be difficult and getting better at the same time.

What has 2020 taught you?

seed paper business promotional products

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