From lie-ins to home office hustling and family meals together, Nicola Elliott, founder of Neom Organics talks about how Covid19 has affected her family and her business at this difficult time.
Tell us about your work
“I founded Neom Organics in 2005 and I still own it, working as creative director.”
What is your context outside of work? (Do you have family, pets, where do you live, hobbies, commitments)
“I have 2 kids (9 and 12) and 2 dogs. I live in the countryside, in Harrogate in the UK and my hobby is… ferrying kids around!”
What is your normal day to day life like?
“Head office is Harrogate but I’m in London every week. We have an office and team there and I have many meetings so I stay over most weeks.”
What is your day-to day life like now currently during COVID-19?
“Lockdown comes with ups and downs. I lie in a bit longer, I enjoy a slightly slower pace of life and eating every lunch and dinner together makes it seems far less hamster wheel-esque. However, I’m still working pretty hard so being in my home office for hours is tough and not being able to unwind with friends or change the scenery. I’ll be happy when these things start again.”
How has it impacted you personally and professionally?
“We are selling via online channels now as our shops have had to close, of course, so it means changing quite a lot in the business. We don’t know what’s coming (like everyone), or when, so it’s really hard to plan in business. I say plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
What are you finding challenging?
“Not seeing my sister and mum.”
Where are you finding hope and optimism?
“Everywhere. I genuinely believe what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m loving the sense of community and kindness that we are seeing, personally and through the brand. Our tribe are getting involved at NeomOrganics.com so much – be that through meditations, Work out Wednesday, paying forward kindness, nights in with Neom… it’s just a lovely vibe.”
What do you miss about life before COVID19 that you never thought you would?
How are you getting through – what are your coping strategies?
“Taking regular breaks from my home office, trying to stay out of the lounge until evenings so it seems like a different zone, home workouts, and not putting too much pressure on myself to home school!”
What is your mindset about how to use your time at home? Hustle harder with newfound time, be still and soak up the gift of time, dive into unexplored creative pursuits…?
“Bit of all of the above. I keep thinking I’ll get a veg patch going (I’ve bought the books on Amazon) but not sure. I’m enjoying the extra hour in bed. Oh and I’ve bought some pink hair dye, if I don’t do it now I never will.
I’ve got a weekly fish delivery, as well as meat, veg, The Mindful Chef and milk man just in case one goes down! And I enjoy cooking anyway but we are definitely eating well (and more!)”
Personally how are you managing your mind and wellbeing and that of your family?
“Pretty well to be honest – you’ve got to be pragmatic. Giving back and doing what you can for others helps, I think. Taking care of your basic wellbeing needs is absolutely crucial – fresh air, eating well, moving, taking that bath every night and taking time to reset is so important. My Neom Wellbeing Pod is in overdrive, obviously.”
Despite all the negatives and the brutality of the virus are there positives you feel are coming out of this – a silver lining?
“I think we’re having our eyes opened to a new pace of life and how that needs to change, plus how we need to heal the environment and connect with community more.”