The gift that gives

What did you do during Lockdown? Not quite the same as “what did you do during the war”! When they write the history of the first lockdown, I know my experience is common to many people in the retailing business. Lockdown is a nightmare, but then we hit on something that cheered us up and helped us feel part of the community and part of the upsurge in “doing good”.

John with tray of posies
John with tray of posies

So the markets, online sales and shop locations all crashed out of the plan. There was a lot of form filling in order to get the self-employed support and Universal Credit. There was quite a bit of cursing that one of the last three years had been terrible, bringing down the average annual profits and therefore the level of income support.

Lavender bag
Lavender bag

Another part of the family were delivering veg. boxes and I was able to pop in lavender bags, gift tags and bookmarks, all made from recycled materials. Strawberry plants came from a friend, spider and jade plants that I propagated myself also went out – each in their own pot. Bunches of daffodils, spring flowers and herbs reached people as a little pick-me-up.

Bookmarks
Bookmarks

Yes, it gave us something to do, yes it was good for the veg. box business and yes it helped to promote Rainbows and Brown String. It gave us the same buzz that selling does even if it made no money. We live in a very rural area so only the cows would hear us clap for the NHS and, with certain health issues, volunteering was also out of the question. This really made me think about why Rainbows does what we do – it’s not just about income, it seems to be much more about smiles.

Strawberry plants
Strawberry plants

Of course, as we head into the second wave, the money issue does rather raise its head. As I pack up a Dior sun creme to send to someone down south, I wonder where they are going and hope they will have a lovely time and pray, by the time they get back, that they will need a stylish retro winter coat!

Stay safe everyone.

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