2020 has been, in an effort to find the right words, the year that the world changed.
There's all kinds of things we could write to try and summarise what 2020 has been like for us all, but we figured the animation below might sum up it best.
Let's instead recap, celebrate, and highlight the good that came out of 2020, which by and large is all down to EWE, the Herdsters.
We are always so grateful to Herdy customers and fans, new and old-school, but we are increasingly thankful for your support in 2020. To put it simply, if it weren't for you, Herdy wouldn't exist.
Most popular content by a Herdster
Ruth Childs' custom Herdy face mask
By April 2020 it was becoming increasingly apparent that face masks were efficacious in reducing the spread of the Coronavirus. We at Herdy had already started the preliminary design for our own Herdy Face Mask, but ewe Herdsters already beat us to it!
Ruth's homemade Herdy mask reached 26,480 people, saw 2,020 reactions, received 124 comments, and inspired 57 reshares around Facebook.
As the UK entered National Lockdown in March 2020, alongside other countries such as Italy and Spain, it didn't take long for that famous British sense of humour and "keep calm" attitude to emerge.
Jokes, memes, and funny images were created and reshared thousands of times around the internet, bonding people together in camaraderie and lifting spirits during unprecedented times.
We've always been about positivity at Herdy, our mission after all is to "spread smiles and happiness". So we joined in with a few memes of our own. One in particular, above, was posted towards the end of April 2020 and completely went viral.
The meme eventually reached 907,621 people, seeing 41,491 reactions, received 510 comments, and was reshared 7,391 times!
Working alongside Harrison Spinks, we were able to remove the foam in the mattress and upgrade the spring system to Harrison Spinks' new Cortec™ system. This means that the new Herdysleep is now foam free, glue free, and 100% recyclable at end of life.
We were approached Martyn and Sara Merckel, a local couple who have a love for the Lake District, a sense of adventure, and a passion to get people camping. Having brought up their own two boys on the campsite they owned at Eskdale, Martyn and Sara know the benefits of shared family time in the great outdoors and were keen to get others enjoying holidays packed with fun and adventure.
Uninspired by the world of “beige” motorhomes, Sara contacted Spencer and Diane Hannah, founders of Herdy, and asked if this cute and lovable brand from the Lake District would like to go camping. And to her surprise the answer came back as a resounding “Yes”!
Simon had been with us since the days where the entirety of our product range fitted in a secondhand filling cabinet! Oh how times have moved on.
On the 18th March we made an announcement regarding the increasing severity of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
By the 4th March, worldwide cases of COVID-19—the disease caused by the novel Coronavirus—had reached 93,000 cases. We immediately reviewed and made changes to our hygiene and cleaning practises and monitored our team on a daily basis to check if they had been exposed to the virus or were showing symptoms similar to COVID-19.
With the Coronavirus Pandemic growing evermore serious, and cases in the UK rising at an alarming rate, we took the sad decision on Saturday 21st March to close our Herdy Shops and Herdy HQ immediately.
Two days later, on Monday 23rd March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a UK-wide national lockdown with immediate effect. On the same day, the UK alone reported 6,650 cases with 335 deaths.
Shopping was only allowed for essential items, such as food and medication, and people were only allowed to go outside for 1-hour's worth of exercise in their immediate environment, maintaining social distancing and regularly washing their hands. Video calls quickly became the norm as a way of staying in touch with friends, families, and loved ones.
The world had suddenly changed.
As the Coronavirus Pandemic intensified, nationwide appreciation developed towards NHS workers, and other key workers, who supported the population during this time.
We wanted to help us all keep smiling, keep the kids amused, keep fit, keep calm, and carry on as best we can, so we provided (and regularly added) free to download fun wallpapers, printables, and more.
Herdy Freebies would turn out to be one of the best things we did in all of 2020.
Every Monday, we asked ewe Herdsters on social media to nominate a "Herdy Hero"; someone who has gone above and beyond in your local community. They didn’t have to work in the NHS; perhaps your Herdy Hero was a neighbour who gets your shopping and checks on you, or maybe a postie who lifts your spirits with a daily chat?
We then selected a "winner" every Friday and designed a customised eCard to be sent to the chosen nominee.
On Friday 10th April we announced our 1st Herdy Heroes "winner": Nigel at Windermere Post Office.
He was nominated by Sue Hazlehurst, who added:
Nigel at Windermere Post Office has gone above and beyond the call of duty, even saying if anyone has an emergency when he’s closed, as he lives above, will open and sort it. A well deserving Herdy Hero.
Nigel would become one of many Herdy Heroes that were celebrated.
Back at "Herdy HQ" (or in other words, our homes as we were all working from home), a plan started to form in our minds...
On the 12th June we were thrilled and so relieved to announce that our Herdy Shops would be reopening from Monday 15th June.
We're revised our opening times, too. Bowness/Grasmere/Keswick would be open 7 days a week from 10:30am–5:30pm, and Kendal will be open Wednesday–Saturday 10:30am–5:30pm. The later opening time allowed us to thoroughly deep clean the shops every day.
We also provided hand sanitiser for customers to use when entering the shops, requested a maximum number of customers at any one time and, of course, adhered to social distancing measures.
Our entire initial website stock of face masks sold out in 30 minutes, which was understandably frustrating! Thankfully we have the loveliest customers and ewe were happy to wait whilst we got more on order.
The Horse & Farrier Inntook advantage of our Safety Herdy Freebies and printed out the signage for the reopening of their beautiful Inn.
We have a strong tradition in our Herdy comm-ewe-nity of celebrating some rather talented home bakers.
Ruth Evans showed us her efforts in July by sharing some photos of her Super Herdy outfit she made for her Little Herdy, plus a Herdy cake!
It now includes a beautifully constructed backpack, a handy travel wash bag, and a seek mini tote. All made to a very high spec, using Lake District Herdwick wool, and completely artisan handmade in England.
We started making plans for our upcoming Christmas products in September, one of which would be some new Christmas card designs.
We opened up part of the development process to ewe Herdsters, by running a little competition: whoever provided the best Christmas/Herdy-related verse would have it featured in our Christmas cards; the winner would also be "Herdyfied" and featured on the back of all our Christmas cards!
Once in October, we announced the winner of our Christmas Card competition: and it was Kathryn Sharples, a unanimous victory!
Her verse is as follows:
Twas the night before Christmas,
and Santa did weep...
"I've lost all my reindeer;
I'll need to use sheep!"
The Herdys were willing,
and off they all flew,
saying "Season's Best Bleatings:
Happy Christmas to EWE!"
It was rainy, drizzly, and misty, but that didn't stop Herdy from making friends with Rich Uncle Pennybags, aka Mr. Monopoly!
In early November, with signs indicating that a second wave of COVID-19 cases was occurring, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 2nd England-wide lockdown from the 5th November, lasting for one month.
On the 8th December, the big news arrived: ewe had all hit the £20,000 goal for charity funds raised via the Herdy Heroes tea towel!
Let's see if we can reach £25,000 raised before the end of 2020 and the finish this difficult year on a high.
More talented bakery!
Evana tagged us in this frankly incredible Little Hiker Herdy cake she made for her 4-year old's birthday... and it's just amazing.
We did another mug collaboration!
To mark the launch of the newly restored waterwheel in the Coppermines Valley, Coppermines & Lakes Cottages teamed up with Herdy to produce a commemorative, limited edition mug that features a unique, copper Herdy and friends getting up to mischief in Coppermines Valley!
You can win a Limited Edition Herdy Coppermines Mug and a holiday in one of their Mountain Cottages. Just go here.
You can purchase a Limited Edition Herdy Coppermines Mug (only 1,000 made) right here.
Even more talented bakery!
Jodie Texeira shared with us this photo of her daughter's Herdy Birthday Cake, made by the talented Abigail Lily Cakes.