As the virus known as COVID-19 takes over our lives we are making a few adjustments at Tambo Teddies.

The health and well-being of our staff is forefront of our minds at this time, prompting a few changes. In both Tambo and Toowoomba we have implemented a comprehensive ‘disinfecting’ cleaning routine. We have hand sanitiser at the front door in Tambo for any customers or visitors. Similarly in Toowoomba there is hand sanitiser and everyone is encouraged to regularly wash their hands and cleanse all surfaces.

Of course, as the crisis evolves it is a moving feast, we will continue to make changes to our operations. Just yesterday one staff member decided she would prefer not to deal with the public directly, and that’s okay. Tammy has decided to stay home and work remotely. With only five weeks until the new baby arrives, she has decided it is best to limit contact with others.

Tourists are being urged to stay away from the outback this winter. Outback communities fear health services will struggle to cope with an outbreak of COVID-19. At this stage we won’t be closing the store in Tambo, but it is unlikely there will be many in-store customers. In Toowoomba, we need to keep our staff working for as long as possible, ensuring they have income and we have product to sell.

We will possibly experience a few shortages in our supplies. We have had to secure stuffing from within Australia and will experience difficulty sourcing different skin colours. We will work around these issues and are planning to release a new, exciting product very soon.

As our small Outback community struggles to come to terms with the crisis we can look up and down the road and it is very quiet. Tambo has two pubs and two cafes; one café has closed for the time being and the other businesses are only selling take away meals and beverages. At Teddies, we are fortunate not to be totally reliant on the visitor market. Outback businesses manage through the summer season and ramp it up for the tourist season from April through to October.  This year with the restrictions their income will be slashed making it difficult for them to survive. We can only hope the crisis is controlled sooner rather than later.

At Teddies we have a strong online presence, we sell through our website and take several phone orders each day. We have worked over the past six years to build and strengthen our online channels meaning the business is not totally reliant on the visitor market. We will be continuing to process orders as this crisis evolves. If you are self-isolating, a Tambo Teddy might be just what you need as your companion!

Stay safe and remember to keep your sense of humour!