sHello there! It’s Izzey Hung here, or XV Lady as my friends call me. How’s your un-lockdown going? As guidelines relax and companies get moving again the world seems to be revolving at a faster pace than ever before, so I would like to share a few words on my own experiences of the last few months.
Here at XV HQ we have a tradition of keeping things busy. Since January we have launched new throws, developed three new ranges, moved offices, bought an embroidery business, redesigned our website, found some exciting new partners, committed to various fairs, launched our Made To Measure bespoke service, taught ourselves new aspects of the embroidery and sewing business, and so much more.
But we also have busy day jobs to take care of. For example, my fabulous right-hand girl and designer Vicky is a wedding dress maker and lecturer as well as our own amazing creative leader. My own fast-paced work as a consultant has me running ragged half the week, and I also have a holiday rental, which I’ve just re-opened. As designers and creatives we are often tasked with working hard to keep ideas coming and the production line going: a case of spinning plates.
But sometimes. We just. Need to. Stop.
I’m never too shy to talk about my own experiences of busy times, and sad times, and up times and down times. I’ve experienced them all and I have various coping mechanisms for any situation. Lockdown actually enabled me to slow the pace at a time when I was forming the company and those spinning plates looked like they might not stay up.
Lucky me, though, I’ve a small tribe of friends who encourage me to keep going when I’m feeling down (everyone needs a gang like that behind them). Normally these friends crack the reins when I’m on go-low mode to get me back up again. But these days, with everyone scrambling to get back on track, even my upbeat friends are running low on motivation.
So sometimes we have to dig deep and find ways of keeping ourselves afloat – methods that don’t just involve throwing back cups of coffee and chucking a few more energy bars down. Lately, because I’ve been so busy, I’ve not followed my own advice and it shows, so I’ve drawn up a gameplan for June where I can find space for me again.
I’ll schedule in some me-time every morning to go for a big walk across the Downs, or take the bike for a spin. Being an active racing crew member I go swimming regularly and that’s total shutdown time for me. I’m in the water doing 40 or 60 lengths and I get myself into a zone where all I’m thinking about is swimming and breathing, and nothing else gets in.
Audio books accompany me on long walks, and lately I’ve enjoyed autobiographies by Demi Moore, Rob Lowe and Matthew McConaughey. These are personal accounts from different backgrounds but there’s a constant among them all: each subject had a turning point that saw them morph into the personality they later became. A moment in time that was critical.
Our moments in time are fast and furious. The new shop (well, first shop!) launched this weekend and things are extra busy. I intend to enjoy every moment of all the new and exciting things we are creating, but time out will be essential.
How will you take time out? How are you coping? If it’s just niggles and readjustments then getting straight back on the horse is my best advice – spoken like one those friends that gives you a boot up the bottom! But if the world feels like it’s gone from nought to sixty and you’re feeling the heat, then I urge you to take some time to smell the roses: literally.
Book time to get out and about, whatever the weather. Stand outside and breathe in the air. Take the dog on a new route. Try out a different café. Drive to that beach or open space a little further away. Cycle, swim, walk, run, whatever you can do to help slow the chatter.
Oh, and keep your eyes on the page for upcoming events and products! And please keep those comments coming in, because what you think is so important to us.Best wishes from Team XV