In Your Shoes
We're often asked, "Who is the Cocorose Woman"? But the truth is, our customers aren't a marketing persona and so we don't just have one. Our campaign "In Your Shoes" tells the wonderful stories of our Cocorosers, from all walks of life and from all around the world. Strong, beautiful and completely unique - we can't wait to introduce you to each other.
Anyone who does PE in gold trainers gets my vote. Even better if their gold trainers in question are the Cocorose Hoxton Gold Star trainers.
"Wearing them always excites my class," says Deborah, primary school teacher and long-time Cocoroser, who is passionate about reading, Japan and wearing fabulous shoes.
I first met Deborah and her husband Mark at the Spirit of Christmas Fair in London's Olympia a number of years ago. Deborah has petite feet and so finding fabulous shoes can often be challenging. That day changed everything, and Deborah has since built up her collection of about 30 pairs of Cocorose shoes over the years.
"In fact," she tells me, "I found two more pairs when I was tidying out a cupboard! I knew I had them but I couldn't remember where I put them. Turns out they were in a bag I usually take on holiday!"
Japan is a favourite destination for Deborah and Mark, and they've been regularly visiting over the years. Mark is a keen photographer and loves capturing the vibrant culture and lifestyle, particularly in areas of Tokyo such as Harajuku and Shibuya.
The couple had a trip planned for this spring but unfortunately, it was cancelled due to the coronavirus and travel restrictions.
Although disappointing, cancelling the trip was "the right thing to do," says Deborah. "I find the whole situation extremely worrying and frightening. We are all doing our best to do the right thing but it does have to be an effort made by everyone in order to achieve a desirable outcome for the health and safety of us all."
As a key worker, Deborah is still teaching at school for a couple of days per week. "It's surreal at school," she says, "and I wonder how long it will last for and what it will be like when we eventually do go back to normal."
Deborah says that keeping herself busy is the key to staying positive and keeping her mental health and well-being in a "happy state".
A hot bubble bath, preferably with a glass of fizz and surrounded by candles, helps her to unwind and completely relax, which aids a restful sleep (crucial for well-being and helping to calm anxieties).
Having the extra time to read books properly - favourites are Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre - rather than just reading a couple of pages before falling asleep, has also been enjoyable.
Tending to the garden and planting vegetables, many of which will soon be ready to harvest ("hopefully before the slugs find them!") has kept Deborah busy, and she hopes to use them and prepare fresh meals from scratch. "There's just something so relaxing about cooking," she says.
As if all that wasn't enough, she goes on to say, "I have even knitted myself a light summer cardigan."
Impressive already, and in between teaching, marking, reading, gardening, cooking and knitting, Deborah nonchalantly throws in that she's hoping to learn how to play the ukulele! Although, she says, she's keeping that one up her sleeve for now and will just get the ukelele out when she "needs something else to stimulate my brain."
But it's not just activities that Deborah is doing. Talking, and staying in touch with family and friends, is vital. "I'm thankful that our youngest son, Damon, is at home with us, however, I do miss our other two sons - although I keep in touch with them via Facetime and telephone calls."
"Often, I find that loved ones don't always tell you everything because they don't want you to worry for them," Deborah says, "so it's important that they know you're thinking about them and that you're there for them, if ever they want to talk."
I end by asking Deborah what her favourite shoes are and she tells me the Alice style because "when I wore them in Japan, I had lots of interest and smiles from people who were looking at them."
But, she says, "I've come to the realisation that I need to wear all of them more often and not just keep them for best."
If we've learned anything from this pandemic, it's that every day is special and should be celebrated.
"It's so important to take pleasure in all the small things," Deborah says, "and I look forward to doing all these things when our world is in a better place. Things like hugging a friend, even pushing a shopping trolley in a busy supermarket (remembering that once this was not possible!), enjoying a walk through the park, just sitting in the sunshine, even waiting in a queue for ice-cream or fish and chips - things that we usually take for granted will seem so much more when we can appreciate them fully."
I couldn't agree more. I, like everyone else, am impatient to get life back on track, but the question is will we ever get back to living life like we once did, so freely before?
It's difficult to predict, without a crystal ball, but I do believe that life will adapt. Day by day, through this chaos, a new way will open up and help us get back to an adapted normality. We will have more awareness and attention to our surroundings, and, although it will take time, I believe we have a strong will to restart our lives and live again.
As Jane Eyre famously said, "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will."
One day soon, we will be free of this net and we will live again.
Thank you Deborah, for sharing your story with us and helping to inspire us through these challenging times.