The Slow Dawning
When we watched Boris’s update on that fateful evening of 23rd March, my husband and I felt fairly positive. The announcement and instruction to stay home had been expected and felt necessary. We are fortunate to have a comfortable home, a large garden and more countryside on our doorstep to exercise in than we’d ever manage to cover.
We were resigned to a couple of weeks at home. Being together as a family of four. No more school, no more rushing around. A slowing down of our (often) frantic lives. I think we were secretly quite looking forward to it.
Then, as the weeks went by, it became more and more obvious that this wouldn’t be over quickly. That EVERYTHING about the way we’d been living our lives and working was changing for the foreseeable future.
My husband didn’t mind too much. His usual working pattern was one day a week in the London office, regular trips to Europe and USA and working from home around that. In fact, we’d already been talking about how the amount of travel he was doing wasn’t good for him or the environment. This was sparked by a trip to China in November when he came home with a nasty ‘flu’…
Our teenage sons have been pretty resilient. They’ve got on with the work that was set by school, kicked a football around the garden most days, messed around in our pop up pool during the heatwave and spent a LOT of time on the Xbox with their friends.
My Business Stopped Overnight
Up until March, virtually all my work was in-person.
That stopped overnight. I contacted all the clients that were in my diary and we agreed to postpone. I now have two month’s-worth of client days to reschedule once it’s safe to do so.
The biggest event in my calendar each year is my annual live event. ‘Get Your Style Sorted 2020’ was supposed to take place at The Waldorf Hotel on Saturday 25th April. I’d already started selling tickets, I’d planned the content, I’d got my helpers confirmed. Then I had to face facts. My biggest event of the year was going to have to be postponed.
I started to feel quite fearful that the business I’d poured my life and soul into over the past 11+ years could be over.
My biggest surprise!
Fate meant that I had already advertised and created an online style class and had over 100 people signed up to attend. This was one of the free online events I run each year – and by the way, I have another coming in a couple of weeks, so watch out for details on how to register.
After a few conversations with my business buddies, I decided to quickly create a brand-new online program. And ‘Fall In Love With Your Wardrobe’ was born. I decided to talk about this new course in my style class and invite people to sign up.
People were sharing on social media about how they were using lockdown as a chance to get organised at home. Early spring is the-perfect-time to get your spring/summer style organised and to get ruthless in your wardrobe and my new course was designed to take people through my unique process. ‘Fall In Love With Your Wardrobe’ was designed to get great results without any of the overwhelm associated with BIG clear-outs.
I ran the free style class, made an offer on my shiny new program and was delighted that people loved it and bought it. This was a HUGE turning point for me. I’d always resisted working online, as I love my in-person work so much. I’d never run a program like this before and honestly, I had no idea whether it would work online or not.
‘Fall In Love With Your Wardrobe’ was a joy and a pleasure to run. We met once a week for 5 weeks for a Zoom call, then used a private Facebook group to share photos, questions, ah-ha moments and even little videos of each other moving through the process. Over the 5 weeks, my clients got inspired around their style and found new outfit ideas for the season that made them look and feel positively fabulous. They also shed a TON of clothes that they’d been hanging on to for way longer than necessary!
The feedback was awesome. My online business was working!
As the course came to an end, my clients were sad. They didn’t want to leave and in truth I didn’t want them to either. This new way of working, taking a group of women through my process together and seeing them transform week by week, was amazing. Each week on our Zoom call they looked even better and more alive!
The Style Club was born!
I’ve always invested in my business and this year have been part of a fabulous mastermind group to keep me on track and inspired in my business.
A call with my mastermind group gave me the idea to start a membership. Something I’d had at the back of my mind for a while but never had the courage or space to work out how it could work.
Lockdown gave me the space I needed and having just run a successful online course, I knew this new way of working was exactly what I needed and will continue to do for the foreseeable future (even when life gets back to normal).
I took another brave step and invited the women that I just finished the online course to join my membership, The Style Club. And guess what happened?
100% of them said yes!
A HUGE sign that I was on the right path with a membership!
This is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened in my business.
I then reached out to some of my existing and previous clients that I thought would enjoy being in The Style Club. And the first six women I invited all said yes, too. I had a 100% success rate. My confidence was sky high.
My business was going to survive.
At the time of writing, I have 15 wonderful women in The Style Club and it’s SUCH a warm, positive and supportive place.
And now, I’ve incorporated ‘Fall In Love With Your Wardrobe’ into The Style Club. At the beginning of Autumn, we will all go through this style inspiration and wardrobe organisation process again to get our new outfit inspiration and have a good clear-out ready for the cooler months.
It’s funny how sometimes we are forced into taking action we’d previously resisted. I’m very much loving proving myself wrong!
read part two of my lockdown story here.
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I loved your on-line videos which resonated with my shape (similar to yours, but I’m only 1.575M), clothes style (fairly simple, block colours, unfussy) and current life (I gave up working full-time at the end of 2019). I think you have a great inclusive way of communicating and look forward to seeing even more.
I also buy primarily from Jigsaw, Whistles and Pure (gave up on Jaeger some years ago – reduced quality/made in China/ridiculous prices) and petite ranges, particularly for trousers. I also try to buy knitwear and tops made in Portugal, as they are always good quality/fit and wear/wash well – i’m not sure why this is the case though! Thank you so much for all you are doing in what is such a difficult time.
Thank you for your lovely words! And thank you for your tip on Portuguese knitwear. I wonder how they are getting it so right…