A Note to The Cast:
Is this thing on? Are we doing this right? As with most “corporate-y” things - we’re figuring this one out as we go. We’ve basically been performing in one looooong improv show since launching in May - with the added fun of putting on said show during a global pandemic.
In Christmases past, you’d normally find us on stage. While this year’s “stage” is actually us sitting in a hallway (Andy) or any coffee shop in Berlin with half decent WiFi (Ed) - it really does feel similar to a high-pressure, “role of our dreams”, once-in-a-lifetime type performance.
When we think back on what we were doing during this holiday time last year - we almost can’t believe we’re the same people.
Ed spent Christmas in Ireland with his best friend, and enjoyed a lovely Christmas Day with a donkey (a real one, not the aforementioned friend).
Andy was resting after finishing a stint in the West End, preparing for his next role, which never happened: the show was cancelled on its second day of rehearsals when lockdown was announced.
Little did we know… a few short months later, we’d be launching Akt. At the height of a global pandemic.
Nothing like a little bit of added drama, we’re performers after all.
Fast forward to this year's Christmas - and things are, for most of us, looking quite different. Instead of traveling or seeing family/friends this year - we’ve been sorting out shipping and stock issues (thanks to Brexit port drama) making sure we've done everything we can to get gifts out in time, and tackling our first Black Friday.... which was… fun?
We also hosted our first team Christmas party. Note: Virtual cheers-ing just isn’t the same. But one day we’ll all meet in person, we hope (yep, it’s never happened)!
Lest you think it's all just and games over here, it hasn’t all been the balm. We’ve run out of deodorant, run out of patience, and run out of options for materials to make our new tubes. We’ve faced shipping delays, angry customers from said shipping delays, balms that got stage fright (they’re not fans of the cold) and a whole bunch of learning curves. Spreadsheets and formulas… we’re lookin’ at you.
While we’ve figured out all of those things, thankfully, it hasn’t been easy. There have been a few ugly cries, Ed contracted COVID just as new fragrances were being developed and still hasn’t been able to smell them, and Andy had his ear removed and reattached after an operation. Gross.
Although the lows were low, the highs have been amazingly high.
We reached 10,000 IG followers (swipe up = the new swipe right), got over 1,000 5-star customer reviews, received countless incredible press mentions and met some really incredible Akt customers along the way.
We were included in the launch of Selfridges Project Earth (!), stocked in some of our absolute favourite stores in London (Earl of East) and tried by some really cool people (not naming names, that would make it “less cool").
From winning a 2020 “Best in Beauty” award from Harper’s Bazaar to being named #1 deodorant by Vogue (still not over it) - this year has been filled with too many humbling moments to count.
While we still freak out when someone with the blue check mark tags us in a story, or see our colourful little boxes sitting on a store shelf … we’re actually more excited when “regular” customers tell us what they love about Akt.
We still get giddy when someone leaves a really nice review, and there have been many a day made by a kind customer email, encouraging DM, or supportive message. What most people don’t realise is that we’re still only a four person team - trying to make sure a whooole lot of people absolutely love their new deodorant.
We’re far from perfect, but we’re doing absolutely everything we can to make Akt the best (and last) natural deodorant you’ll ever try.
So back to the Christmas message.
Wherever you are, we’re wishing you at least a few moments of calm, peace and joy - after what’s been a very difficult year.
We’re thankful beyond words for your support, and can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for Akt and the rest of us. Because let’s face it, 2020 was kinda the pits.
Make the Yuletide Gay 🧡
xoxo Ed & Andy