Open for Business - Louise West Lace Design
The coronavirus pandemic has caused huge disruption to the economy, impacting businesses of all sizes across every sector.
Despite the seven Connect Derby buildings being closed for 10 weeks, our enterprising tenants have stayed open for business, finding different ways of working and promoting their goods and services. Here's a snapshot of some of the great work they’ve been doing.
What products and services do you offer?
My online shop is still open and orders are being posted out daily, Monday-Friday. Items available include Lace pattern books, individual patterns and also ready-to-work designs, to get lacemakers working without the preparation stage.
The positive part of that has been walking to the post box daily, which has become part of my new routine.
How are you doing things differently during lockdown?
Everything seems to take a little longer working from home, with stock in boxes and not nicely organised as normal, but it has also given me the time and space to work on new designs, and also finish my second book which is now at the printers.
Having the goal to get it finished without the distractions of other parts of my business has been beneficial.
While I am not able to do any in person teaching (which I normally do a lot of), I am using online meetings to connect with lacemakers worldwide twice a week, to offer advice and support to keep them working.
It’s great to be able to see smiley faces rather than the impersonal messaging or emailing and helps everyone stay connected.
What have you learned about yourself and your team during this time?
At a time of necessity, other things become more possible – in normal times, the new book wouldn't be finished yet. I’ve also rediscovered the tranquility of my garden - which I’ve worked in (on warmer days). I’ve also discovered how badly I am missing swimming! It has been a good time for thinking about bigger plans for the future - whenever they might be.
What positives (if any) have come from working differently?
I am awaiting delivery of my second book. I've also had the creative space to start working on the third book, along with new patterns for publication in the next few months. Time to do this has been a big positive.