Made in a Pandemic

Made in a Pandemic

Think back a few months. Did you go to work on a Friday, and by Monday were holed up at home ? Offices, gyms, shops, production facilities, schools, shut.

      That was my experience. In addition to Raven Rova, I’d been working for the YMCA for a couple years. February and March was a stressful time, membership cancellations left, right, center. Phone ringing off the hook. The bustling gym was a ghost town. Some people came in, and unloaded all their stress on the membership team. Inappropriate! To say the least.

      My final Friday at the Y was eerie. I had a good, long swim in the Olympic sized pool all by myself. It’s a vat of antiseptic chlorine, so I wasn’t worried. The place was deserted. I knew that was my last swim for a long time. I languished in the water. It’s the only place I get 100% pain relief. 

      Come Monday morning, the Y was closed. I thought, "OK I can double down on Raven Rova." I had been texting with my rep about sewing details on the Falcon Pants.

I had a gut feeling that people in Pakistan were also bracing for the storm. Still, we kept on texting and they kept on working.

About 3 days later, I got the email I was bracing for.

"Sorry, we need to shut down by federal orders. Health and safety is the most important."

Deep breath.

I was relieved that my production team was safe and taking the Pandemic seriously. Grateful for the care of a family run business. My heart swelled with compassion.




     Then my heart sank. I was disappointed. They had to drop their work, and go home too. My precious Falcon Pants! My precious IndieGoGo supporters would have to wait for their gear even longer!

That was March.       In a nutshell, I decided to take a step back. Engage with my community of women who ride. Heal myself. Truthfully, I was stressed out about loosing my steady paycheck and heartbroken about the production halt. I was sick, my autoimmune condition was starting to flare up.      Yoga, art, music and taking some classes helped me get it together. It’s been up and down.


Then, the first week of July I got an amazing email from my rep! (That’s five months later if you’re counting.)

“Great news! We’re in the final stages of sewing your Falcon Pants order. We expect to ship next week.”

Hallelujah! Cue the music! I was overcome with joy. The shipment still needed to travel from Pakistan to the USA, clear customs and reach Oakland. Oh yes, freight and import duties have tripled in cost. 

This is way too much about me though.

Can you imagine dropping your work, then coming back 4 months later ?

      Sewing construction is detailed and repetitive work. It takes focus and a calm demeanor. It takes practice. It takes years to hone that skill.

      Motorcycle gear is more complex than couture gowns and tailored suits! Trust me, I’ve made many.

      Dropping it, then picking it back up 4 months later is a major challenge.

      They did it. And I’m just one little client. My production team makes motorcycle gear for some of the big names.

Yeah, I AM bragging about my team. 

I want to stress how much skill this takes.

And only at 25% capacity.

      So, if 20 people are usually working only 5 people are working now.

Amazing!!! As I run my hands over the Falcon Pants I am floored. As I examine the clean, crisp stitching on my leather jackets I almost start crying.

The skill level is exquisite.

      I do measurement checks. The precision is impressive. Humans made these.

The same humans who are being crushed by a microscopic virus.

      I’m impressed with the tenacity of my production team. We all need to survive to do business another day. And that’s exactly what they are doing.

So, if you wonder what’s taking so long ?

      That’s it. People are working at 25% capacity. In strictly controlled conditions. They have families! They have kids home from school. Their houses of worship and gyms are closed. Still, they show up to work, and build our CE motorcycle gear.

Building highly detailed protective apparel. It takes time. It takes skill.

      Good things are worth waiting for.

      Thank you, to everyone out there waiting for your orders!

      I could not have continued with Raven Rova without your help. I mean it! I have used a combination of my personal savings and your orders to keep Raven Rova going. 

Thank you! 

Karleen Eberle 

CEO Raven Rova 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published