- Thanks for keeping in touch with us during lockdown. How are you feeling?
You too! This lockdown has been a real roller coaster, hey. My partner Stu and I were clawing through our last few days of work before flying back home to Wanaka when lockdown was announced. After an extra busy year we were both so looking forward to getting home, so the timing was a real bummer (our winter break home was cancelled due to lockdown last year too!). But, we’re so lucky to be in a warm and happy home, and we’ve kept super busy so we can take a break once we’re able to do so.
- What have you been up to?
My bubble is just Stu and I. We bought our 120 year old cottage sight unseen in L4 lockdown last year, which was a bit of a wild ride. Thankfully, we love it, but renovating an old house comes with its challenges. We’re slowly chipping away at it ourselves, but lockdown has allowed us more time to spend. We’ve had a marathon in the garden taking out 5 large trees (and stumps oh my god never again), now we’re putting in our hedging which thankfully we bought the weekend before L4. I absolutely love gardening and have been curating a little tropical paradise, so I can't wait to have it all enclosed. I’ve also been sewing curtains, blinds and recovering furniture.. jobs that have been on my to-do list for a good 6 months now!
- Are you working from home? Why/ why not?
Yes we’re both working from home. Stu is an industrial designer at Fisher & Paykel, so our dining table is now rather full of screens. I’m so lucky to have my studio at home, but I'll admit i’ve struggled with creativity and making simple decisions. I have a pile of new things sitting here that I simply cannot work out hem lengths on!
This should all be online now but I’m not quite sure when it will be ready. This lockdown hit at a really key production time for our industry, there will be a lot of brands out there with late production too, so all of our cutters, machinists and factories will be inundated in L3. I’m doing my best to not let it get to me, a little late isn’t the end of the world and being an online only brand allows me flexibility. We have however been inundated with face mask sales this lockdown.
This has been more than a full time job so I’m very lucky to have that ticking over while I’m unable to go into production and think clearly on my summer drop. One of my wonderful machinists Mandy has been sewing a lot of masks for me too, so I’m so happy to be able to give her some work in this time.
- What have you been doing for yourself during lockdown to relax and for self-care?
I’m an active relaxer which is something that pains Stu to no end. So being busy in the garden has been really positive for me. I really, really miss the gym so we’re also going out for daily runs together. We live in Onehunga so we are incredibly lucky to have to Cornwall Park, Māngare Mountain and Onehunga bay in our neighbourhood - so many beautiful spots to run through. I have recently fished a puzzle out of the attic - we’ll see if it gets to that stage!
- Do you have anything you would like to achieve during lockdown?
As a person who tends to put a lot of pressure on themselves to get a lot of things done, I’m trying to learn be OK with not achieving much.
- Have you got any recommendations for reading/ watching / listening to?
Ok so this is a total guilty pleasure but I’ve been hooked on this podcast called Against the Odds which shares crazy survival stories along the lines of “Shipwreck on the Sahara” and “K2 the Savage Mountain”. I’m such a 5 year old kid sometimes and nothing gets me like an adventure tale ha! I’m a prolific library user so I’ve missed not getting regular books. The last one I returned was Earthings by Sayaka Murata which was incredible - I have booked more of her novels at the library for when we’re out of lockdown.
In the meantime I've been revisiting some favourites from my collection, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (my favourite book and writer of all time) and Island by Aldous Huxley.
Check JoJo out at https://jojoross.com/