A word from our founder – Tania Brown, about the effects COVID-19 has had on business, working from home, and how to keep focused and determined during these unprecedented times.
How is Jacq Leigh as a company dealing with coronavirus?
It’s been tough. The coronavirus pandemic forced lockdowns across Asia over February and March, shutting our factories and bringing manufacturing to a halt. Fortunately our workers are safe, we’re back open and have hit the ground running. We continue to support women, celebrating their success and making sure that wherever they carry their laptop bags, be it to the café, the beach, or back into the office, they do so in style.
What has been the biggest change that you have experienced both in work and your personal life during COVID-19?
I think the biggest change for me at work has been the inability to travel. In my day job I work in an APAC role and would usually travel to Asia most weeks. Not being able to leave the country and having to stay in one place has been a huge adjustment for me. My team are spread out across the region and so not being able to collaborate with them in person has been difficult. Being an extrovert I crave human interaction, having that taken away has caused a fair bit of anxiety and it has taken me a long time to adapt to this new normal. I make sure I reach out to each of my team members and check in with them often as I know everyone is finding these times challenging. I reflect often about how fortunate I am that I have my business and my job which I love, I feel very lucky. The travel ban has also affected my personal life, I grew up in London and my family still all live in the UK. Currently I’m living in Sydney and so I’ve struggled not being able to hop on a plane and see them as and when I like. My sister recently had a beautiful baby boy called Max, not being able to get home and see my little nephew has been especially tough. Thank goodness for facetime and the digital age in which we live in, it’s made it more bearable and easier to stay connected. He recently learnt to dance and blow kisses – it’s always the highlight of my week face timing him and seeing his cheeky face.
How have you adapted to these changes and what have you found most difficult?
The change in pace has really thrown me. One of my coping mechanisms is to make sure I’m exercising and getting out of the house every day, I also try to connect with people virtually as much as I can. The toughest moment for me during the lockdown was hearing the news that my grandad back in London had contracted COVID-19, within 2 days of his positive test result he sadly passed away. 4 days prior to that we threw him a zoom party for his 84th birthday, he was so happy to see his family and grandchildren around the world coming together virtually to celebrate. I’m really lucky to have shared such a special moment with him however it really brought to life how serious this pandemic is, and unfortunately this is the reality for so many around the world. It’s truly devastating.
Have you taken on any new hobbies during your time working from home?
Before lockdown I got really into Reformer Pilates. My studio advertised that they were renting out their reformer beds to have at home, I’ve never jumped so quickly at an opportunity! In the first 4 weeks I was using it religiously every day, operation get a lockdown 6 pack commenced. Week 5 hit and I often found myself sat on it in the evenings drinking wine with my housemate. I can confirm that operation 6 pack did not eventuate.
Is there any advice that you would like to share in regards to keeping dedicated and focused?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to achieve in the way that you’re used to, this is a completely new world compared to the one we used to live in. Celebrate the small things, stay healthy, safe and connected to those around you.
We’d love for you to share our stories with your friends, families and across your social platforms.
Thank you so much for your support, stay safe and connected.