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  • Christen Kinard

what did you do? (our pandemic-period impact report)

In March of 2020, within a week, we went from booking travel plans for big events to shutting down our studio and sending home our team. We didn’t pause for long though.

As you may remember, we pivoted that same week to making face masks (4,500 in all!) for more vulnerable individuals and groups—a project that was supported by non-profit and Texas state organizations.

When we could no longer source fabric, we found additional work for our team members by designing one-off products using up any scrap of any size remaining in the studio.

Still, the going was tough. Without in-person events, we no longer had the sales to support full-time and part-time staff. We didn’t have the raw materials to sustain long-term work. And we could not keep our studio and office open consistently and therefore access to our equipment was limited. To stay afloat, our business model had to evolve pretty significantly.

Then: the move to the Charlotte area. Due to restructuring changes within the organization for which she works, Nell permanently relocated to the east coast last fall, bringing The Off Ramp and Threads by Nomad with her.

We said our tearful goodbyes, comforted only by our ability to support those staying in Houston thanks to your generous contributions to our crisis intervention fund.

From the Carolinas, we have continued to carry forward our work and mission even as we prayerfully considered what our next steps may be.

We contracted with Hayder, from a distance, for several custom projects using FaceTime and Zoom to coordinate measurements and alterations with customers.

Steadily, we have begun to build partnerships with state organizations, refugee/immigrant agencies, churches and individuals in North and South Carolina preparing for this next stage in the life of The Off Ramp and Threads by Nomad.

As we continue to explore opportunities and make plans, we are encouraged—not just by what lies ahead but frankly we are also encouraged by what has been done. While this year was a doozy, a lot of good came out of it.

Looking back, we are proud of the positive impact we’ve had together. We could not have done any of this without you.

The pandemic-period Impact Report below may have The Off Ramp’s name and logo on the front cover but make no mistake: it is your impact report. You did all of this. And for that, we are immeasurably grateful.

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