With a heavy heart, I need to announce that Kustom Kommune will be closing as a DIY space indefinitely due to COVID-19 (until all this blows over).
Closing our space feels devastating, knowing what a positive impact it has for so many and knowing what financial hardships it will create for both the space and myself. Whilst it might seem dramatic, I feel it’s my social responsibility to play my part in lessening the impact of CV19 in our community. We all need to eliminate the “It won’t happen to me” mentality and act like you already have it and don’t want to pass it on. Doing so, will make this all blow over faster so we can get back to business as usual, sooner rather than later.
Even more devastating is that it currently appears, the recently announced stimulus packages will not support our space. Kommune is unique and operates uniquely, we don’t employ staff, but rather have an incredible team of volunteers. While it’s great that we don’t have staff losing jobs, it means there is no wages tax to refund. Kommune is set up as a company so any benefits to sole traders wont assist us either. On a personal note, this all means Nina and I are now both out of work and I am no longer in a position to keep supporting the space financially, which hurts the most.
When we close, we understand members will want to remove their bikes and cancel their storage subscriptions. We understand that if there’s no access to DIY facilities, members will cancel memberships and not renew. We understand that the new environment means we won’t be able to continue our training courses and with social distancing we also understand that 1-on-1 training is not viable. What we need you to understand is that if you cancel your storage or cancel your membership, there’s a very high likelihood that there will not be a Kommune when this all goes away. Right now, this is about everyone.
In only two weeks we’ve seen a huge financial loss in the space. We’ve had down turn of 55% in revenue in the past 30 days (compared to the previous 30 days) and its only getting worse. I imagine there’s so many others in this situation and my heart truely goes out to all those small business owners that won’t make it through these challenging times.
No matter how hard I personally work alternative jobs during this period to keep cash coming in, there’s no way I’ll be able to cover the cost of the space if our community bails. This pressure feels immense. You guys are the only ones that can secure the future of our space, so I’m asking you, if you are in a better position than most, keep your subscriptions and memberships active, use your current course and 1-1 bookings as vouchers rather than requesting refunds. If you do keep them active, we have a high chance of getting through this, if you don’t, there is no doubt in my mind Kommune will cease to exist.
We’re working on stocking our e-store with more maintenance items, setting up a tool delivery service for DIY at home, and we’re launching online Training courses so you can learn in your own time. Machine Social will introduce booking slots for inspections and renewals. We’ll do our best to change with the times and power through the uncertainty. If there are any alternative services we can offer, or assistance we could provide please brainstorm these ideas with us.
We’d also love help from our community to implement some of our new services and community engagement projects, if you have time to spare and skills to offer, please get in touch, we’ll work out a generous contra system to help one another. It’s the best we can do for now.
If you feel like making a contribution to the space to ensure its longevity, you can do that here: https://kustomkommune.com.au/store/kommune/gift-cards/ – buy a gift voucher, grab a membership or make a donation to help us keep the cash coming in.
You all have my promise that I will do everything possible to ensure we come out the other side stronger, and also to throw the most epic party you’ve ever seen at Kommune to celebrate us getting through this together.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. And please be patient if response times are a little slower than usual.
We’ll keep everyone updated as information comes available.
Wishing everyone is safe and secure in their jobs and homes.
Kommune is officially closed until further notice as of 23 March 2020
Feeling concerned but optimistic, as always.
– Founder, Jimmy & Nina