When we rang in the New Year back in January, most of us hoped that 2020 would be a year to remember. Well, it certainly has been…but not in the way any of us could have imagined! From a deadly virus to a national economic shutdown, remote work, distance learning and seemingly endless months of social isolation, this year has turned much of what we know on its side.
For those in the kitchen and bath industry, the pandemic has forced us to rethink everything from how we connect with customers and how life-by-conference-call will affect home design to where we will be able to see and experience the latest products, as many trade shows continue to be postponed and other design events – particularly international product showcases – become less accessible due to travel restrictions.
High unemployment levels and economic uncertainty have slowed demand for remodeling in many quarters, yet months of being home-bound have left others eager to update the spaces they are now inhabiting 24/7.
Yet servicing clients can be challenging on many fronts, from building a rapport with limited human contact to finding needed products at a time where long delays are increasingly the norm, to tapping into inspiration in a temporarily smaller, more insular world. And for those who rely on blowing off steam with friends in the industry, those opportunities are few and far between as well, with many states still limiting gatherings for safety reasons.
Technology is helping to fill the gap, but the recent Zoom breakdown shows that much of this technology is still trying to catch up with demand – and many less tech-savvy designers are feeling left behind. After all, the kitchen and bath industry has long been associated with more right-brain activities – creativity, personal relationships and artistic connections – and operating in a “remote world” presents a plethora of challenges.
At the same time, the sudden shifts that favor hearth and home are bound to present new opportunities for kitchen and bath professionals.
So how do you navigate this brave new world? KB Designers Network can help! Our mission is to provide a community where design professionals can share ideas and best practices, learn from each other, explore continuing education opportunities and see all the coolest new products that remain the lifeblood of this industry.
We’ll also update you with designer tips and inspirations, hard-to-find specialty products to make your projects shine, new design books you won’t want to miss and ideas for building and growing your network – on and offline.
So come on in and make yourself at home…and let’s navigate this crazy new world together.