Its coming up to 10 months since we first went into the first lockdown here in the UK. What a surreal moment that was back in March 2020 when the PM announced it.
None of us really had a clue what it would entail, what we were supposed to do. How furlough worked? How to home-school? As someone that works from home most of the time, the being at home day in day out with only one outing wasn’t the hardest part for me. It was home-schooling AND juggling a business. How on earth could I work AND help my kids with their schooling?
Feeling very under pressure, as I’m sure most parents felt, as we were thrust into this strange ‘staying at home’ life, trying to balance fresh air and exercise, with school and putting in a full day of work. It was hard! I felt as if I couldn’t let my kids down, couldn’t let their education slip, but it was at the expense of my design business. I just couldn’t put in the hours that I would normally, and it did affect my earnings last year..
However, always being a ‘glass half-full’ kind of girl, I explored other ways to connect with businesses.
I started to network a lot! Under normal circumstances I can’t get to networking events because they are usually early and I’m doing the school run, or they were on the days when I worked part-time in my other ‘day’ job. So, it was great that all networking went online and I managed to connect with lots of other local businesses, see people (even if it was through my computer) as well, have a bit of a laugh as we chatted and discussed work and helped each other out and connecting people.
I found that actually one of my hobbies – origami – was of interest to people.
I love to make origami flowers and as I discussed this during networking with other local businesses, I found that many wanted to buy these bouquets for their families and friends whom they couldn’t see anymore due to the lockdown restrictions. I would make them in all sorts of colour schemes and patterns and deliver them.
The feedback was amazing!
I have genuinely lost count how many origami kusudama and tulip flowers I have made during that time but the additional income was welcome and I have to say I derived a lot of pleasure both out of making them and delivering them to customers. It was easier to sit at the kitchen table with my kids as they did their schooling and make these little paper perfections for people than work in my little studio. I was there, on hand to help the kids with their work when they needed it as my business ‘pivoted’ and continue to make some money in a different way.
If you’re interested in buying a bouquet of everlasting flowers from me, then feel free to drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
As lockdown 2 came and went at the end of 2020 and now lockdown 3 in 2021 I’ve adapted again, determined to build my design business more, better planning this year and concentrate on the design and illustration side and how I can make this grow. I feel a little bit wiser on what is expected in terms of home schooling (although it’s still not easy!) than the first time and with a clear laid out plan for my business for 2021,
I feel this is going to be my year!
As Monty Python member Eric Idle wrote and sang ‘Always look on the bright side of like’.