2021. We started the year with a bout of optimism. Is the pandemic over? Is all that disruption in our lives slowly coming to an end? We dared to dream about the borders reopening, families could be reconnected, and businesses could begin to emerge in an environment without requiring government assistance. For most of the year, we were able to start this rebuilding process, and then Covid came back with a vengeance in August, triggering our longest ever lockdown.
Our team had to adjust to constrained working conditions like everyone in Auckland. Our supporting teams reverted to working from home whilst our operational and distribution team bravely continued their work at our HQ shipping essential car seats and strollers to our customers across Australia and New Zealand. One of the hardest challenges we faced was the cancelled baby shows—our team loves meeting with expectant parents. We love sharing in the magic and joy of parents preparing for their new arrival, and we love assisting customers in selecting the right product for their lifestyle, and we especially love to hear about how we can improve our products to ensure they keep up with the needs of modern parents.
Now, we are energized with optimism at the start of 2022 and have planned what will be a truly transformational year for Edwards & Co. At last, we will be launching a modern stroller with the capability to grow with your family's needs. You have come to expect products with simple features that make parenting easier, and our new addition will be no exception. Mark has spent years (literally years) creating an agile, lightweight and modular stroller that looks and feels incredible. We think you are going to love it. And if that wasn't enough, we have a few surprise products for you too that we can't wait to share.
Another exciting development at E&C is our plan for our fastest-growing market - Australia. This kiwi has grown wings, and we have signed a lease to create a home for the brand in Essendon, Melbourne! The space will have a concept store where our customers can meet with our experts and explore our range of products. But, most importantly, we will have an office for our talented team to work from - this is a massive moment for our team, who have worked from home since launching the brand in 2020. In May, we are taking possession of the property and should be up and running by mid-June. A Melbourne "HQ" is a significant step in our journey in a market that will be critical to our future success. In Australia, we have seen our business double in size in 12 months and don't expect the growth trajectory to slow down, especially with the introduction of our new products.
Keep a lookout for our next update, where we will take you for a tour through our new space and for a peek at our new range.