2020 Summer Update
What a strange few months it has been for us all! Hard to believe we are now in August and still weighed down by the constraints of living through a global health crisis. Things that would have previously have seemed completely alien to us are now an accepted part of everyday life and we are all doing our best to carry on and adapt our lifestyles and businesses accordingly.
On that note it seems extraordinary to us now that we managed to keep going throughout the full lockdown period and posted our usual daily photos on Instagram and Facebook, despite not being able to take in any new stock for several months! As we were both confined to our own homes, we relied heavily on our families to help out with the photography, but it was worth it as we received more virtual orders than ever before and we were happy to offer free P&P, something we are still continuing to do and we take great pleasure in sending our lovely pieces out across the UK and beyond! We were slightly amazed to sell so many wonderful designer handbags during this period, as no one exactly needed one, but what a great way to lift the spirits and there was no problem with sizing!
We were also delighted when Kat Farmer, otherwise known as @doesmybumlook40, purchased a designer Bella Freud breton knit after seeing it on our Instagram and we loved the photo of her wearing it on the beach at Aldeburgh. It is of huge benefit to small businesses like ours when this happens and we were very grateful for her support.
We also enjoyed a recommendation from the hugely popular ex fashion editor,@erica_davies, which as with Kat, resulted in us gaining a lot more followers overnight and the chance to reach a wider audience. So thanks to Erica for the shoutout and thanks must also go to all the ladies in the Instagram community who support us on a daily basis. We very much appreciate this wonderful network of like minded and strong women.
Taking time to reflect during the lockdown period, we also decided to invest in ourselves and as soon as it was possible to do so, we enjoyed an excellent Body Confidence workshop with @storieswithclothes We have known Abbey for a while now and love her endless enthusiasm and positivity as well as greatly respecting her huge amount of knowledge on this subject. We thoroughly enjoyed the hours that we spent with her gaining an insight into the different body shapes that women have and how to dress them to feel their very best. Now that we are able to see customers again, we are loving putting some of this newfound knowledge into practice! It really gives us so much pleasure to see people looking happy and confident in carefully selected preloved pieces that are just right for them!
In light of the fact that we are unable to showcase all sizes on our social media, we also decided to have two weeks of using different models in our posts. The elegant @simplygracedanielle_x who has modelled for us before and who has a natural, youthful beauty which transforms any outfit and the gorgeous @ginajonesstyle who makes an excellent curvier model, exuding personality at every turn. Thank you ladies for your help and hopefully this will be something we can repeat in the future.
With fewer people getting out and about, we have also made a considerable effort to up our social media presence. We will even be trying out an Insta Live next month, which will further push us out of our comfort zone!
So how has business been since we reopened the studio to customers on June 15th? Well, in many ways it has been good. Clients report that they like having a private appointment and the fine weather has meant that we are easily able to have the door and windows open to keep the studio airy. We have been offering sanitizer and masks, cleaning surfaces between clients and steaming all the clothes that have been tried on but not purchased. We still feel that there is some reticence to come out shopping, but once people arrive they enjoy the whole experience. It has been wonderful to be back working together in the studio and thanks to everyone who has called in to V&V so far, whether dropping off clothes, picking up unsold items or most importantly shopping! We really value your support and are always delighted to see you. If you haven’t made it yet, but have been thinking about visiting us, please do get in touch. We are sure you won’t regret it!
Jenny & Emma.