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Skills Jersey speak to The Loving Chair Company on how their business has adapted during the challenging times of the Coronavirus pandemic.
What were your initial thoughts to Covid-19 regarding your business?
Our initial thoughts were how to keep a positive message throughout the business whilst continue to offer our services to our local customers and keep our makers and designers busy and creatively inspired. Once we were happy with arrangements to offer our local services online, we began to brainstorm product ideas and helpful design content, which ranged from Work From Home set ups to affordable sofa designs. We were committed from the beginning that a community element to the work we would be doing during this time was key to keeping ourselves and our clients and company motivated and engaged- which is how our TLC mask initiate came about.
With plenty of fabric to hand, we first started to sell make your own mask kits, with all proceeds donated to local charities - The Salvation Army and Beresford Street Kitchen. We soon found that there was a huge interest and demand for masks, so we dedicated two hours a day of our seamstress' time to making masks. These are sold on our website and with every mask sold, one is donated to someone in our community in need - a care giver, essential worker for example.
The high demand and support for this initiative has lead to our seamstress' working full time on masks and we are aiming to recruit local seamstress' in Porto to make masks from home to get a similar initiative off the ground in Portugal.
So far, with the support of our amazing clients and followers, we have raised just over £1000 to these charities and over 500 masks to organisations such as Jersey Brain Tumour Charity, Cheshire Homes, MacMillan Cancer Support, Les Landes School, Glandville residential home, Age Concern, Meals on Wheels, The Grace trust and various departments at the general hospital, with many more to come!
How did you adapt and change your business routine?
Locally our St Helier boutique has closed, with all products now available online. We also bought forward the launch of our product brochure so customers could shop our complete range through our website, as well as offering fabric sample deliveries and virtual design consultations. Luckily the space in our factory in Porto allows for easy social distancing so the team have been able to continue working, which has enabled our TLC Mask campaign to flourish. Daily team house party calls also keep the ideas flowing and the team motivated.
What positive changes do you think you will take from this experience?
We will always remember and be grateful for the fantastic support of our clients and followers, as well as other local business' such as Channel 103, Fetch.je. and Jersey Business. It has reinforced that our team is strong and has a positive energy that can see us through any difficulties.
It has also made us focus a lot more on the opportunities of our website and our digital offering, which we have been working on for some time, however the recent challenges have brought it to the forefront. As ever - we are continuing to develop on new products and services that the TLC family can offer - so watch this space!
Thinking of changing career but not sure where to start?
Why not arrange an appointment with the Skills Jersey Careers Advise team who offer a free impartial careers advice and guidance service for all ages, regardless of residency or employment status.
Your one-to-one appointment will be in a relaxed, informal and confidential environment.
Find out more by calling the team on +44 (0) 1534 449440 or book an appointment online.