What a rollercoaster of a year this has been for us all. I don't think I've ever worried so much, from a personal and business perspective to the state of our world affairs, yet there have been lots of positive moments that have emerged from this journey of the unknown. Ok, I'll admit it was a tough one (and I initially tried for 20 and then 10!🤣) but I've rounded up my Top 9 Highlights of 2020 here. If you would like to add anything, please do. As always, I appreciate your collaboration and input.
This little word that is so often repeated and taught to young children, but then somehow forgotten by adults themselves, exploded back into our daily vocabulary this year following the sad death of Caroline Flack and the events, such as panic buying, that swept through the nation and our supermarkets pre the Spring lockdown (click here for a reminder!). Quite simply, Kindness Matters, for our own mental health and for those around us. A simple message or telephone call to check up on our friends and family to make sure they're ok, running errands for our neighbours, dropping off items to local food banks, offering help wherever possible... it's the little things that make living our daily lives sweeter, nicer and more wholesome.
If anything, the pandemic brought us all that little bit closer together. Remember the weekly applause for our key workers? This was the coming together of our local and national communities to bring hope and strength to us all collectively, and the experience is one that I will never forget.
Lockdown also gave us the chance to spend more time together as a family unit. I remember our Togetherness on a Monday Morning - the appreciation of just 'being' and enjoying our moments of calm and togetherness; something that we never had the chance to do amidst all the rush of pre-2020 life.
Lockdown gave me the chance to pause, catch my breath, review, reflect and just appreciate more the little things such as being together. During the Spring lockdown, I wrote about What Are You Thankful For and, on re-reading it, it brings back floods of memories and for me, sums up Togetherness beautifully.
There's always a silver lining, and for me, one of the most amazing things to come out of this most challenging of years has got to be our partnership with The Honeypot Children's Charity. This all came about because of the Rainbows of Hope that our children were drawing and framing in the windows of their homes during lockdown and I was inspired to bring these rainbows to life on our trainers.
So, not one to sit idle throughout lockdown, I designed our Hoxton Rainbow trainers which symbolise Hope, Love and Peace and we launched the collection in May, with incredible support from household names such as Suranne Jones who have helped us to spread the word about our wonderful partnership with Honeypot and the incredible work they do to support young carers, aged just between 5 to 12 years old.
As the pandemic continued to take hold of the world, we launched our Cocorose face masks in early June, with profits donated to Honeypot, and we literally sold out within a couple of hours. Honestly, I couldn't believe it, although in hindsight, it was clear that we were all in need of beautiful, comfortable and well made face masks, especially as they had just become mandatory on public transport (and soon in shops and enclosed spaces). Since then, our collection of face masks has grown and we've received the most incredible Press, with our masks featured regularly in titles including The Independent, The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller, Sheerluxe and Absolutely plus also featured on TV's Channel 4.
But for me, launching our face masks has had a much deeper, personal meaning and raison d'etre. As many of you may be aware, my inspirational mum and dad are the real brains behind our face masks. For over 40 years, they have been making the most incredible jewellery, all made from real and natural flowers, leaves and shells dipped in fine silver and gold. When the pandemic struck, they, like so many, had to pivot their business in order to help ensure the livelihoods of their team, many whom I've known since birth, were secure and stable. From fine jewellery to face masks, the team have been amazing. This is a story that I will write about one day, as it just highlights the strength of positivity and optimism, and how a real 'can-do' attitude can help to pull you through the very toughest of times.
Because of you, we were able to support The Honeypot Children's Charity and raise an incredible £16,000 during the Christmas Big Give through our Hoxton Rainbow Trainers and Face Masks (read more here). We're hoping to raise over £19,000 by the end of the year but regardless, this money will go such a long way in making a huge difference for the children. I'll be able to update you soon on how Honeypot will use these funds and how it will benefit the children so please stay tuned for this.
When The Duke of Cambridge Prince William wore his Cocorose face mask on a number of occasions, as seen on Kensington Royal's IG account and in The Telegraph, I received some wonderful messages from you, our Cocorosers, saying how proud you felt and to me, this level of support from you truly trumps everything.
This year certainly hasn't been easy, as we try and navigate our way, blindly, from covid through to Brexit, but there is something so heart-warming and comforting in knowing that our future monarchy are supportive of small businesses and that they 'have our backs.'
Prince William's small gesture and royal seal of approval means a great deal and is so incredibly rewarding, especially more so after all the blows of this year and working like crazy just to survive this storm.
Throughout the Spring lockdown, the closure of schools and nurseries nationally brought a whole new set of challenges and so many of us found ourselves trying to work full time from home or run a business from home whilst also caring, entertaining and teaching the kids. Honestly, how did we do it?!
I know many of you lovely Cocorosers are teachers and nursery superstars and your resolve and determination to keep the children safe whilst ensuring they continue to learn and be as normal as possible amongst friends is so reassuring and instils hope that we are fighters and will get through this.
My post about Women Women which you can read here sums this up completely. This year would not have been possible without my incredible support network of friends and family (and lots of cake!) and I am forever grateful.
I know I keep saying it but You, our Amazing Cocorosers, keep us going. Thank you for all your friendship and incredible support; all your web orders, kind reviews, social media 'likes', shares and comments, telephone calls and lovely emails. Seriously, they are THE BEST.
Like lots of pictures in this post, I love hearing from you and seeing your pictures on social media or emailed through. I have so many more new pictures that you've tagged us into and sent through so I will do a new blog post very soon!
I also really enjoyed chatting with lots of you for our In Your Shoes campaign that we did this year. Sharing your stories and creating a platform for you to reach out to each other felt so natural this year, as we all came together to help support each other. Thank you to all that took part in this.
My partner in crime, my joy, my laughter, my everything 💗 Plus we do silly things together like this.
And there we have it. My 2020 (very briefly!) summed up. I've read lots of Facebook threads and posts about how 2020 has been absolutely rubbish and isn't a year to remember, etc etc but I prefer to look on the bright side, despite having lost a loved one and the year being so very difficult. Overall, it's been a year to take stock and reassess, with some real keepers coming to the forefront. Let go of the negativity, let go of any limiting beliefs and focus instead on how far we have come. Step by step, together we go forward. We can do this.