Looking back at my last blog when I was bemoaning about the state of the high street and having a car park dismantled and rebuilt in front of my shop window, I honestly thought that nothing else could go wrong. Added to the fact that spring is my favourite season and confidence that my new collection would hit the right notes with my customers, I was looking forward to a bright future.
Alas, that was not to be – no one could have predicted the impact that the Corona Virus would have on every aspect of our lives. For a small business like Deja, its nothing short of a disaster and I know other independent retailers feel the same way. Will we survive let alone thrive in these strangest of times?
Whilst the present is restricting, the future seems so uncertain with both our health and wealth in jeopardy. Whilst the Christian calendar denotes the years before Jesus was born as BC, I think we have another equally momentous BC – before COVID 19!
Well, that’s enough doom and gloom, blessed with beautiful weather, we should all be determined to make this festival the best ever for ourselves and family – even if we are in lockdown. And why not dress up for the occasion, by now we should be fed up to the back teeth of our pyjamas and sweatpants and in these dark days, never have we needed a feel-good outfit more.
So have a dress-up day, let your hair down, put on some makeup, crack open a bottle of Prosecco and wear your best Deja outfit complete with accessories. Send me a selfie and I will give a £25 Deja Gift Voucher to the best-dressed lady!
Even better, treat yourself to something new from our new collection, this week I did my first ever virtual styling session with one of my regular customers from Brighton. I videoed some of our new pieces and matching accessories so she could choose what she wanted without leaving her sofa. I then posted them free of charge and viola a perfect outfit was born!
I am happy to provide this service to all my customers; plus if you buy a Deja Bundle of trousers and tops then I am happy to throw in a scarf free of charge and as we are in these days of COVID 19 they are a must-have face cover – a new fashion accessory is born!
So how should we dress in this pandemic? My fashion advice is to go for top to toe mood-boosting colours like green which has so many shades from a vibrant lime or emerald to more subtle shades of teal, aqua and mint. I cannot be the only one who thought Her Maj looked amazing on Sunday night. And don’t forget to go for comfort as well as style.
Our own brand Deja trousers are a perfect example. Made of bengaline, they naturally stretch to make them comfortable as well as stylish – they can be dressed up or down depending on what you pair them with. Couple them with a beautiful silk or linen top for occasion wear or with your favourite sweatshirt if you want to leap in front of YouTube doing Zumba or Joe Wicks or whatever is floating your exercise boat.
And of course, this season’s colour is lovely teal green. With the days getting warmer, it is time to go for crops and Capri’s – send me your waist size and preferred leg length in centimetres and I can get them made to order all for £49.50. As well as teal, they come in black, navy, French navy and white. So why not put in an order?
What will happen next when we are finally released from Lockdown? When the shops and restaurants reopen will we go wild and embrace our freedom by splashing the cash and letting our hair down like the post WWI generation, who released from the darkness of war and Spanish Flu pandemic embraced the roaring twenties with a passion previously unseen in history? Women in particularly celebrated their freedom by ditching their corsets, raising their hems, bobbing their hair and dancing and partying until they dropped. The Flapper was born!
Or perhaps we will be more cautious, more worried as to where our next penny will come from. We may see a return to scrimping and saving, a rejection of credit and a scratching a living from a rock mentality. Who knows… As a small fashion retailer, I am hoping for more of the former than the latter! The high street was already in dire straits before COVID 19 – household names like Laura Ashley and Debenhams the latest casualties. Even Top Shop that Mecca for youthful fashion is in trouble, closing stores all over the country as well as in Horsham, much to the devastation of my teenage daughter.
Do we really want to become a nation of online shoppers because that is becoming a real possibility if we don’t rally round and support our local high street? Or on a more optimistic note, has the fall of the large department stores and big chains created a window of opportunity? Time for a small business like mine which is passionate about customer service and can source and provide individual statement pieces as well as a capsule wardrobe to step in? Only time will tell ……