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2020 - Looking Back

2020 was a real kick in the ass. Not only did Covid 19 abruptly grind FITTED to a halt, but my family experienced its share of heartbreak.

After a long battle with Parkinson’s, my step father, Shellie, made his transition. He was a brilliant man and a great entrepreneur. Kind, sweet, doting of my mother, he delighted in expressing his pithy wisdom: “You don’t know what you don’t know”; “Whatever works." I miss his smile, his jokes and his self-satisfied grin when he would engage in his favorite pass time - eating ice cream.

Shellie, doing what he did best.

And we lost my wife’s mom to cancer. Mummy was an oak tree in the storm of life. Generous and powerful, she was the family matriarch. When we would drive from Brooklyn to Queens to see her, she’d greet me with a great big hug, pound my back and say, “Be strong!” Nothing like a little old school Haitian love to toughen me up.

They were two giants who can never be replaced. We love you and miss you both.

If we’re going to talk about 2020, we need to touch on childcare. In my humble opinion, there are two types of pandemic experiences: people without kids who struggle with isolation and wonder what show they should binge next; and people with kids, who struggle with a lack of isolation and wonder if they’re ever going to watch a show again.

With Covid ravaging NYC and my wife working from home, I closed up shop last February and took care of our toddler full time. In August I returned to work, caring for Ethan from 7AM to 3PM and making jeans from 3PM until Midnight. I'd rarely get to bed before 1-2AM, and my son often doesn’t sleep through the night. Rinse and repeat.

In February of 2021 we finally got some help, and I’m able to get to my workshop a little earlier these days. It’s still exhausting, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

So this is all to say that I didn’t make as much progress on FITTED in 2020 as I had hoped. But sometimes, staying in the game is the win. Besides, every second we got to spend with loved ones was worth it, and every extra minute I got to spend with my son was a true blessing. His unbridled joy is a silver lining not even Covid-19 can obscure. I miss those we’ve lost, I love being a husband and a father, and FITTED is still going strong. Onward.


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  • Erika Steffen

    Dear Eric, What a beautiful tribute to “Shellie” and “Mummy”. I feel deeply they are looking down at you and smiling with love! I think they are also very excited with your present work and the “new work” you are working on with FITTED. With love, Your mom

  • Holly Brown

    What a year it was! I am deeply sorry for those huge losses in your family. I’m sure the wonderful memories and the strength they instilled in you will last for all the years to come. I am glad to see FITTED made it through the storm. Cheers to the next chapter, my friend!

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