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In the first few days of lockdown it really started to dawn on me - the true enormity of what was happening, in a way that I would wake up and the first thing I would think is about this situation and how my usually busy day ahead is so altered from normal. I was filled with worries (and still have the concerns) about how my children are affected, how my family and friends are affected, how my business is affected, how my staff are affected, how my retailers are affected and the list goes on.
As I am truly blessed to have an amazing work studio at home I then had to come to terms with a house full of family, also at home, everyone finding their feet and sharing the space 24-7. This became to be enjoyable and relatively stress free of my usual hectic day to day activities and once some of the worries started to feel a bit more normal then I was able to think again about work and open my mind to creativity.
With the huge disappointment of a cancelled holiday and business trip to South Africa I decided to turn it into a positive and use the money to redesign part of our beautiful garden, a happy place that gives us all enormous bliss. Then followed all the cancelled events, SHERENE MELINDA has a full summer schedule every year and one by one each of the events were cancelled and of course any income that would have been received also disappeared. I managed to fill some of my time focusing on improving our online offering with a great new website and also had the pleasure of assisting a group of talented Fashion students from Central Saint Martins with their Masters Project.
At this time the Black Lives Matter movement gained enormous momentum and all the things I saw and read really resonated with me. I also began to see how the world just stopping in its tracks seemed to have a great positive effect on our precious earth. As a creator that takes inspiration from the world around me and uses resources from the earth, in my role as a designer it made me really question and think about what I should be doing differently.
But still, all the time wracking my brain over what the next steps of SHERENE MELINDA should be, a period of reflection and reset, of taking stock and pinpointing a clear direction to follow given the significant changes both in retail and in fashion. This has been a tough process and the one thing that I know for sure is that SHERENE MELINDA will not only succeed but also come out stronger at the other end.
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