Chaos and creativity often go hand in hand.

Studies have shown that being surrounded by “mess” can actually improve creative thinking, challenging us to produce work that breaks from tradition and promotes “outside the box” ideas. In clean and stifled environments, there can be less inspiration and freedom, resulting in the same old ideas circulating and being rehashed. That’s our excuse and we’re sticking to it!

Mess or future masterpieces?

Over lockdown, Olivia had to move her business into her home to be able to continue working and filling orders. It was necessary and Olivia is lucky she had that option, but it created absolute chaos at home. Setting up all her equipment from scratch every time she started making, having to clear it all away again a few hours later became extremely tedious. With a dog, man and chicken around the house, leaving it out wasn’t an option either. It meant the was no separation between work and home, and like a true workaholic, Olivia found it hard to stop and switch off. When you know there is always one more thing that could be done or finished off, and while using that equipment you could do this too, then quickly just… it’s never ending. Before you know it, it’s gone dark and you haven’t eaten for hours. We definitely do not recommend this as a business strategy.

Sunshine and a view

Granted, it wasn’t all bad. When the weather was nice, it was amazing to be out in the garden, feeling inspired and relaxed whilst getting things done. But it also just made Olivia miss her shop and studio too, and begin to think of ways she could improve her work space once she was able to be back in it.

Lockdown gave Olivia the opportunity to assess how she runs her business. It afforded us the chance to try some new things, like this blog and our current search for new brand ambassadors. (applications end 12th of July, don’t forget to get yours in! See OnWards! to find out how)

It also allowed some changes to be made in the OnlyWillow shop itself. We’ve streamlined the displays, editing the product making the shopping experience easier. Hopefully while the new social distancing measures are in place this will improve the flow round the floor.

Studio space = happy place

The most significant change is the updated studio layout. By adding the new jewellery bench, Olivia now has a place to work where she can still watch the shop floor and street. The added storage should help keep the studio a little more organised too. Though, for creative people, there is usually method hidden within the madness. We may come across scatter-brained but that’s probably because we’re thinking about multiple things at once while our brains are firing on all cylinders, designing, planning and prioritising.

The new setup is taking some getting used to, and the new routine of actually working set hours is slowly becoming the new normal.

Ready for action, more space for more makes

It’s been amazing being back in the shop and there’s plenty to keep Olivia busy. We’re, as ever, so grateful for all your support now that we are finally heading out the other side of quarantine. Hopefully this progress continues, and we can start to see new visitors to our corner of Cumbria in the coming months.

Stay safe and Shop Local where you can.

For even more OnlyWillow, visit our Instagram and Facebook.

Written by Siobhan Green.