Laura Beckford is the founder of the wellness supplement brand Supernova Living. Here, she speaks about how the Corona crisis has impacted her daily life.
Tell us about your work…
“I’m a mother and a wife firstly, which has become quite obvious during this time (!)
I also founded Ology Kids Casting, a specialists children’s casting and modelling agency, which I run with my brother; in more recent years, I founded Supernova Living, a holistic vegan wellness company.
I made a conscious decision when I left working as a TV presenter, age 24, to spend the majority of my time living my passion. With Ology Kids Casting, I adore giving children money-can’t-buy experiences on TV commercials, modelling for international brands such as Burberry, Marks and Spencer, Boden etc, appearing in feature films, soaps, on Netflix and doing voiceovers for Disney and Nickelodeon animations.
As my family and knowledge grew, my passion for wellness was elevated and I made the decision to start Supernova Living. I have always had a deep interest in holistic wellness and the power of plants – I studied homeopathy in my early twenties, my dad is a Reiki master and my aunt in a naturopath, so health has always been a priority in my family. I am obsessed with self-optimisation and prioritising wellness for my family and now also others, to help as many people as possible get the very best out of living.”
What’s your context outside of work?
“I have two children, age six and seven, have been married for almost 10 years, we have a dog called Buddy and have chickens which we hatched one Easter and kept in a bath in the kitchen for weeks! (My children have been vegan since then). We live in the countryside between Manchester and Liverpool, surrounded by fields. We’re currently expanding our vegetable patch as I get such a kick out of having no food in the fridge yet being able to make a delicious dinner from the garden, (mostly in summer though.)
I love yoga and regularly play tennis at the local club and also love cycling to the woods for total relaxation. I’m trying to get into running while in lockdown as it’s great for some headspace and I pop a Goop podcast on to take my mind off my exploding heart.”
What is your normal day to day life like?
“Normally we get up at 6am for school on weekdays, and I always make time for a great breakfast for the kids. Nutrition is my priority. I grab a Supernova with rice milk in my Supernova Can and take them to school. I always listen to a podcast on the way back to focus and inspire me and then either head to the gym for a class to workout or to a meeting in Manchester. I’ll either go home to work for a few more hours on emails, marketing, sales, social media or new product development, then I try to pick the kids up several times a week, but having to leave at 2.30pm makes it a short day.
My husband is amazing and splits the childcare completely. If I get the kids, I will take them to their after school activities such as tennis, horse riding, swimming, netball, karate and football – it’s relentless. I then make dinner and do homework – standard mum stuff. We’ll both put them to bed and I will then work again until 11/12pm to get all emails, accounts, invoicing, etc done. I try to meditate before bed but I usually just fall asleep.”
What is your day-to day life like now currently during COVD 19?
“There are no commercials or work from Ology and my husband who is a Sky Sports commentator has no work either. We are always at home together, so that’s the same but I love that we now don’t set an alarm. The kids still get up early but not until 7-7.30am which is a dream and much-needed. We then don’t rush or worry but get ready for Joe Wicks PE at 9am, which is great structured and positive way to start the day.
We take it in turns to ‘home school’ and have set up a mini time table. I’ve always thought I’d like to home school (theoretically) so I want to make sure I do as I have always visualised! I try to do meditation with them, some gratitude journals, yoga, and LOTS of outdoor learning; practical learning. We have some lesson plans from school so I use them as a guide and get creative from there. I did start to ‘work’ with them with my laptop but it didn’t work.
I want them to look back on this experience with fond memories and for them to feel that I was really present and engaged with them. I’m so used to saying: “one minute”, and being so busy doing something else and I don’t want them to feel that they’re not my priority. When Jermaine is teaching them I go to my office and try to be as productive as possible with work for a few hours. We then ‘play’ in the afternoons: the kids are so happy to have us both do this with them and I have to try and not feel guilty for it. I know the business won’t grow as much as it would have done in the next few months but my family is my priority and I have to try and accept that it’s ok, which is difficult if you’re as ambitious as I am!
We play boules, go for bike rides, have treasure hunts in the garden, go down the lane, have football matches, play tennis, make obstacle courses for the dog and we’re trying to do some serious restructuring of the vegetable patch. We’re far more relaxed on bedtime but I do still work most evenings to catch up. It sounds idyllic when I read that back but trust me it’s difficult.”
How has COVID 19 impacted you personally and professionally?
“Jermaine’s work has completely stopped – with no football to commentate on – and we’re both self-employed, so like many, finances have been slashed. It is a worry for everyone but we’re seeing this time as something to be grateful for. If it wasn’t insisted upon, we wouldn’t be spending so much quality time all together and it has forced me to work less.
Personally I feel it’s almost a God-send, as I was working too much and it has been a real realisation that the business won’t crash and fall if I don’t work on it for 100 hours a week.
I also needed to refocus on my husband and children as I was pretty much just a machine prior to this, which wasn’t good. Ironically we’re getting along better than we ever have, perhaps because it’s a crisis and we’re working together more.
Professionally, with very little work coming through Ology, has given me more time to refocus on Supernova where sales are doing well. It’s a strange split as gyms and independent stores have shut and therefore are not ordering and some customers are cutting back and cancelling subscriptions. However the stores who sell online are doing well and our online sales are great too as so many people are starting to prioritise their health. It’s also making me be a little more proactive and creative in connecting with people to raise awareness for the brand. This is important as we have some exciting NP hopefully, launching towards the end of the year.”
What are you finding challenging?
“Getting the balance right: I want to be totally focused on teaching the children but it’s difficult with a business to run. When I’m working I feel guilty that I’m not there for the kids. Then there are the three meals day; it’s the same usual balancing/juggling act but with them at home 24/7 it’s more difficult. I can always hear one of them screaming that they’ve banged their knee or that the other one has more grapes, etc, etc
I am finding the ‘not knowing’ the biggest challenge; and we were looking forward to a friend’s wedding in France in the summer. I want to plan details and events for the business and new products but can’t as we don’t know when everything will be ‘back to normal.’
I’m just trying to enjoy this interim period of connectiveness but I know (like everyone) that lack of income will start to become more of a problem in the coming weeks/months.”
Where are you finding hope and optimism?
“I believe with certain acts and rituals like good nutrition, exercise, gratitude, not listening to the news too much, and a positive mindset, we can create our own happiness to some level, so I do still try to prioritise these.
I try to be super optimistic and I have had quite a few ‘talks’ with friends to help put them back in a positive mind space in the last few weeks. I am so grateful for what I have – the space, all my family, our health and happiness.
Supernova Living is doing well still and I have balance back in my life which was desperately needed. The fact this has happened in spring means there are sunny days and more to come. There is also so much support from other companies and the media business-wise, and I love that we’re all connecting more and helping each other. I’ve been reaching out to other small businesses to see how we can collaborate and support each other.
I feel we need to try to see all this as a positive – nothing will come of us viewing any situation with anger, resentment and negativity. It will only cause illness and depression in ourselves. This crisis will create a heightened awareness for the importance of our health and happiness and people will hopefully start to prioritise that. I hope it will reconnect everyone, extended families, partners, as we play silly games on House Party and do Tik Tok dances together.
We will be so grateful in the future to go to the park or beach or for a dinner party, to hug friends at the school gates and to have a whole six hours to work in peace whilst the kids are at school!”
What do you miss about life before COVID that you never thought you would?
“Going to the beach, the gym; hugging friends and family. Being able to order anything on demand and logging onto the Ocado app! Freedom of choice, I think.”
How are you getting through? What are your coping strategies? Do you have any objects, routines or tools that you are finding particularly uplifting right now?
“Yes, lots: body brushing and ending the shower with freezing cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute every morning. It’s hell for a minute but so invigorating and I always feel great after I’ve done it. Making sure I actually get dressed and ready for the day.
I have Supernova WOMAN 01 every morning, which instantly lifts my mood and energy and changes my ‘state’.
I try to have some level of routine, and a check list to keep me focused so I feel a sense of achievement, even if it’s clearing my wardrobe or checking in on friends.
I love the Headspace app, which I always use – if the kids or work or both are driving me insane, I just sneak off and put that one for 15 minutes. Stuart Sandeman has some great free breathwork classes on Instagram live, too which are insane.
I get out on my own every day – I’m try to ‘run’ most days with a Goop Podcast on. To be honest it’s a gentle jog / power walk but I always feel great after it. I’m also starting to go on bike rides too.
I’m spending more time cooking and baking, rather than just throwing a few bits together, I’m enjoying taking more time and getting the kids involved and making delicious meals.”
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?)
“I personally flit between all three. I certainly don’t have more time. I have definitely had to reprioritise the time I have and work has taken more of a backseat as I would hate for the kids to look back at this part of history and say “mummy just worked.”
I am trying to make time to read – which I never did – and I’m definitely spending more quality time with the kids, but my passion is my business so I will always want to spend lots of time on developing that too. We have such exciting plans and new products coming out so I am trying to work on the creative side and get the kids involved too. I certainly won’t come out of this speaking Mandarin and I have yet to ‘Marie Kondo’ our wardrobes but if my business is still doing OK, the laundry is done, my marriage is still intact and my kids have said it was THE best time, then I will be happy.”
Personally how are you managing your mind and wellbeing and that of your family?
“I try to always be conscious. We are in control of our minds and it’s a technique to master as it’s so dangerous to let it ‘run wild’ as there are too many negative influences that can easily turn your happiness upside down. I do try to meditate and encourage my kids to do so too. If they prioritise their peace at an early age I think it’s such an incredible tool for life.
Wellbeing is my passion and priority and self-optimisation, is why I love my work so much.
I ensure we all exercise every day, usually twice, as that immediately increases our vibrations, energy levels and endorphins.
I use fresh produce a lot – I make fresh juices every day and make lots of vegetable curries, soups and salads. We take Supernova Life Powders every day to maximise our nutritional intake with organic adaptogens to reduce stress and boost immunity.
We try not to watch the news too much which is a major part of my happiness. We subscribe to The Happy Newspaper and use it as part of the kids’ reading.
I also ensure my husband and I have some time out to ourselves each day for our sanity.”
Despite all the negatives and the brutality of the virus are there positives you feel are coming out of this – a silver lining?
“I genuinely feel we will be more grateful, be more connected as a community and families. I think (and hope) people will have more awareness and prioritise their health and their immunity. Creatives will be more productive, having to adapt and think outside of the box.
I think, most importantly, that people will have some kind of an awakening, whether it’s to leave their jobs and start their own business, rebalance their work/life roles, focus on their health, or change heir relationships. I think with most having more time on their hands they will have to ‘look within’ instead of burying their heads and running away from whatever issues they have. This can only be a good thing. Enlightenment will ensue.”