NEWS - MORE Small Businesses carrying on courageously
Posted on 4th May 2020 at 19:03
Here at Alchemy Virtual Assistance, it’s been business as usual in recent weeks. Well, that’s not strictly true…
We have been a little busier than usual providing our award winning Virtual Assistant Services to support our amazing clients spinning ALL THE PLATES. The ‘usual’ has been somewhat unusual too...
We had some AMAZING feedback and comments on our last post – seven small businesses carrying on courageously.
So much so, we decided to do another one, in a similar vein.
We wanted to continue to honour and celebrate the innovation, resilience, positivity, collaboration and sheer brilliance going on in the small business community. It’s been inspiring putting these articles together to say the least.
So, here are MORE independent businesses that are carrying on courageously…
“In just three days, Yoga Local (a barely walking, 10 month-old yoga studio in Nene Court, Wellingborough) shifted to online live yoga classes and today is not just maintaining its full programme of classes and teachers but as from next week, adding classes and recruiting it’s fourth teacher.
Adopting the mantra of Stay in Your Lane, Yoga Local, has actively focused on showing up and serving members with a 'business as usual mindset’.
We took action over fear, choosing not to panic.. just pivot. We found trying to check in with what everyone else in the industry was up to and second guessing our decisions was holding us back, and frankly, pointless. So our strategy has been about leaning into the practices of yoga.
To find stillness in all the activity and ask ‘how can we serve’… ‘how can we help’.
That is how yogis believe you get a better quality of action.
Action that will stack up and align to meet the need… naturally.”
– Josie Steedman, Founder at Yoga Local
Innovation is at the heart of Sara Penrose Limited. Sara is a talented Chemical Engineer come Oil Painter who passionately believes in the strong links between science and art. Life before Coronavirus for Sara was one of in person workshops, corporate team development and holiday experiences. But now, she’s online!
“What I love about creating art is the Escape, the Journey, the Adventure.
Some may feel that they can’t paint, but I see it as play and exploration, where Everything you do is Right. No need to fear or feel stress, see it as an Adventure. I find oil painting Reflective and Restorative.
Don’t think you have the time - Indulge!!
If you don’t give to yourself it is difficult to give to others without running out of energy.”
You can take a look at a free section of Sara’s new online course to get an idea of her style and approach.
Mark and Jules Kennedy, creators of the Future Toolbox by MAD4Life, are still helping to support teens, young adults, parents and teachers during lockdown. They’ve recently launched their new YouTube channel called the Z to A of Life (no, that's not a typo!) which shares short video tips from their book Don’t Get Your Neck Tattooed.
Mark said, “With schools being in lockdown and home schooling being a hot topic on families’ lips, personal development is a real key to self-care in these strange times. Learning isn’t all about passing exams and learning facts.”
Jules added, “Our aim has always been to create a community at home and get teens and parents working together so now’s the time to work on yourself.”
To find the free resources on offer from the Future Toolbox, click here to subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Honorata’s business is expressive and therapeutic arts session for emotional wellbeing. She would normally deliver sessions in groups to community interest companies, charities, local groups and she also delivers for Public Health Northamptonshire.
“It was a very challenging week for me (when the lockdown was announced). First, I sat and kind of froze. I was not sure how this was happening when almost a year I had been working so hard to get groups going. The fear of financial trouble was also growing.
In time, I converted my groups to virtual spaces. I came up with creative sessions for adults, families, kids and teens stuck at home as a way keeping them creatively stimulated and support their wellbeing. I called the offer “Creative Wellness” and currently started advertising it. It is my way of helping community and prices are hugely reduced so people can afford it.
It feels strange to go to empty art room and talk to laptop with a brush but I am glad I had opportunity to “convert” my business. However, the dark side is the amount of time I spend now in front of screen that for somebody who prefers working with colour and paint is not ideal.
I am aware I am lucky as some self-employed people are not able to change the way they operate to online so I am filming, connecting via video and hoping for the best!”
"As people are looking for different things to do at home, the craft industry appears to be going through a boom!
People are looking to learn new skills, finish ‘work in progress’ projects they should have done a while ago and, simply to make nice things. Even though craft is my ’business’ – it is also my pleasure and hobby – I find concentrating on a project very relaxing.
In these testing times, now more so than ever, I personally think being creative can certainly have a positive effect on your mental health. Calming and so rewarding to create something from scratch! And, the outcome doesn’t need to be ‘perfect’ – it is the action of spending time on something.
With people turning to craft, I have had new approaches for lots of different projects to get involved in... From online workshop ideas, tutorials to (hopefully!) provide inspiration for making and doing. And, most excitedly appearing on Channel 4 as part of Kirstie Allsopp’s Keep Crafting and Carry On programme! Lockdown has certainly provided new challenges but also lots of new opportunities!"
- Paula Milner AKA The Crafty Lass ®
A huge thanks to all who took the time to contribute to this post.
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If you’d like to learn about what our professional team of Virtual Assistants have up their sleeves to help you keep you and your business carrying on courageously - get in touch.
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