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.
"Today, I baked my first cheesecake," says Jean proudly, sharing with me a picture of the blueberry mascarpone cheesecake that had freshly come out of the oven. "And it's sugar free because I'm diabetic."
Jean made her own pastry crust and blueberry compote (yum!) by watching a couple of 'How To' Youtube videos and, by the looks of it, it turned out rather well. "Beginner’s luck, I guess," she says rather shyly.
Beginner's luck or not, this is coming from someone who really enjoys all aspects of food; baking, cooking and eating, whether it be Japanese, Filipino, Italian, Spanish or Korean, so there's definitely a dab hand and an element of experience in this.
I'm not sure I'd have the skill to bake a cheesecake from scratch. The most I've been able to do during this lockdown has been a banana cake although, may I say, a rather delicious one too! But for one who would rather watch Bake Off than actually do the physical baking, I didn't stock up on flour and, well, we know the lesson there...
Being a diabetic and grouped into the 'at risk' category, Jean has been self-isolating at home during these difficult, coronavirus times. She says she doesn't mind being isolated, as "I’ve got everything I need and the silver lining here is for us all to enjoy spending time with our family and occupying ourselves with activities like cooking, baking, painting, knitting, playing board games, singing and dancing.
"This is our time to be patient, hopeful, responsible, sensitive, compassionate, kind and vigilant. Let us all unite and do our part as a citizen. And, when this is all over, there will be a new beginning."
So positive and uplifting. I find myself already buoyed at the thought of having to spend the next few weeks (months?) in lockdown (although please don't let it be months!). The other day, Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England's Medical Director, spoke about 'green shoots' and offered to us that sliver of hope that I know so many of us are desperately clutching on to. Was he just rallying the troops to keep our morale going, or is there really that tiny, little dim light at the end of the tunnel?
Jean is filled with hope and optimism. She has to be, for her own sake. "It’s a very difficult time for all of us and to be 5,000 miles away from my family makes it really hard for me. As much as I want to go home to the Philippines, I physically can't. I speak with my family regularly and I can hear it in my mum's and sister's voices that they're panicking and feeling anxious because I'm so far away but I try to reassure them with my words of support. I feel mentally positive and we will get through this."
I don't know about you, but March 2020 seemed to go on forever, and I lost count of the days as they just all started rolling into each other, much like Groundhog Day. The thought of travel, and being free to jump on a plane and head off somewhere (anywhere!) seems like a bit of a distant memory already.
But Jean is quick to rally me round again and reminisces about her favourite Cocorose moments during those good old days of travel.
"My favourite Cocorose moments are when I travel long-haul. The simple fact that they're so very comfortable, and so convenient to fold and pack away into their little travel bag. And of course, I not only find them stylish and comfy, but my Cocorose ballerina shoes are so classy too!”
Jean is talking with me whilst she's sitting outside on her patio, relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet. She's wearing her favourite ballerina shoes, the Bayswater style in pink.
"They really are the most comfortable and stylish ballerina shoes and they make me feel happy and calm," she says. "I put them on and I feel instantly comfortable. I’ve got a condition on my spine which makes it a real challenge for me to find comfy shoes, as so often, the wrong shoes cause me pain on both my feet and up my legs and back.
"I've tried so many different brands but for some miracle, Cocorose ballerina shoes are the only flat shoes that I can wear for the genuine comfort that it gives my feet. So no longer do I need to think or worry about what shoes to wear anymore; I can focus my mind elsewhere."
This is important for Jean, for she suffered from depression in the past. But her positive outlook on life is infectious.
"I am so content with my life and I enjoy every minute of it. Life is short. Live each day like it is your last, regardless of your circumstances."
Jean finishes off by telling me that her favourite animal is the eagle, for they are "strong, distinct and free."
In a way, I guess we, as humans, aren't too dissimilar. We are each so much stronger than we may think and, one day soon, we too will be free again.
Thank you so much Jean, for sharing your story and for your optimism and words of positivity and encouragement.