WE ARE ONE COMMUNITY
MarketPlace has always been about caring for our community. In these difficult times we continue to be committed to you and to the artisans in India. This challenge brings us together as human beings as we try to continue our mission, satisfy our customers, and keep everyone safe. The situation in India continues to change, and staff and artisans there must accommodate both new restrictions and new opportunities. We are striving to maintain safe and consistent production, but the difficulties in India will most likely affect your orders. We are in constant contact with the artisans and staff in India and will keep you informed. Click here to visit our blog for updates. Click here to visit our blog for updates anytime.
TAKING YOUR ORDERS
Customer Service representatives are still mostly working from home and will be available during our regular business hours to help you with your order or to answer any questions you may have. Call 800-726-8905 or email email@example.com. Our Customer Care hours are Monday through Thursday 9 am to 6 pm, Friday 9 am to 3 pm EST. You can also continue to place orders on our website at any time.
SHIPPING YOUR ORDERS
Our warehouse is currently shipping in-stock orders. All the appropriate safety measures are in place in accordance with CDC guidelines, including frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing and disinfecting common surfaces. Warehouse staff shifts have been reduced or staggered and work stations are far apart to allow for social distancing and decreased contact.
If your order is out-of-stock, we urge you to place your order so that this can be communicated directly to the artisans. This way, the artisans will be making the products that you want.
Returns may take longer to process, so please bear with us.
THE SITUATION IN INDIA
The recent images coming out of India are devastating. I had been feeling optimistic when it seemed that early actions had curbed the spread of the virus. Now this new wave of infection and treatment failures have left me feeling helpless.
From what we are hearing from the staff and artisans the infection rate is not as bad in the slums and low-income communities as in some other areas. I don't know why this could be, but I am really relieved to report that currently none of the staff or artisans, or their immediate family members, have tested positive for COVID.
We once again face the challenges and obstacles that came with last year's all-India shutdown. The biggest problem for production is how closures affect the supply chain. Some fabric is made in states that have a total lock-down, inter-state transportation is in disarray, the news of the wide-spread coronavirus cases in Mumbai has resulted in a resistance to deliver there. Without fabric, little can be done!
I have been so inspired by the response of the staff. "We have done this before and we are more prepared to tackle this again", said Nishi Arora, Assistant Director. Work on production is happening but differently. Women are working alternate days to socially distance, 2-3 embroidery artisans come at a time, some groups are delivering the work to the artisans' homes, and some women have even taken their machines home to continue working. Agility and creativity have become second nature.
Since March 2020 all our offices and cooperatives have strictly observed safety protocols, including mask-wearing, sanitizing and social distancing. Health and safety have always been the first priority. Unfortunately, this has impacted the work, resulting in slower production and lower earnings for the women.
We are ever thankful to our customers for understanding and being patient. Many of you have written to ask about the artisans and we thank you for your concern. We are looking at ways to make up some lost wages and your assistance will be much appreciated.