WFH Diaries | With Halo & Wren

Halo & Wren

“My husband has actually done the diy jobs that I have been nagging about for well over a year! Its very strange. I am going to miss moaning at him” Halo & Wren on the strangest thing that’s happened during lockdown

If a glittering rock has been freshly placed on THAT finger and you covet a cooler, more relaxed bridal style, boutique Halo & Wren should be TOP of your list for a post-lockdown visit. At the helm of this award-winning bridal boutique is Jemma Palmer, renowned for her excellent taste (envious selection of epic designers and accessories) and inspiring approach to the gram (follow the Halo & Wren Instagram account here). I caught up with Jemma (digitally, of course) to get the lowdown on her lockdown…

#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:

Before: “Anxious, resolute and afraid.”

After: “Determined, grateful and hopeful.”

#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…

“Holy Moly! It has changed a LOT! I’m up at a regular time, as I have a four and five year old, they are my free alarm clock, literally, this age group wake up almost the exact same time every-day!

I am home-schooling my children so in terms of work I am literally just keeping up correspondence with current brides and replying to enquiries with future brides. I have made some updates to my website and I am keeping my social media absolutely smoking!”

Halo & Wren

#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?

“I don’t want to moan about my business situation when so many families are going through so much tragedy and our frontline workers are sacrificing so much to keep us safe.

Sadly, the shop, since the lockdown was announced, has closed and I am incredibly sad about the situation that so many of my brides are facing, disappointing postponements. Financially the business has been affected but I am grateful that this will not effect my home and my family as my husband is working full time.

I can only ask that past and present brides continue to cheer me on, be that through simple conversations that we have on socials, sending through your photos, leaving reviews or recommending future brides visit H&W.”

#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…

No.1 Sarah Shaw is our recommended seamstress who works for nearly all of our Brides, Sarah does so many late nights and long hours looking after H&W Brides, currently she is working from home sewing scrubs/face masks.”

Halo & Wren

No.2Nails By Nicole is a local nail technician and a friend of mine from primary school. Nicole had been working part time round a full time job and took the leap to full time nails and she is smashing it! Her nail work shows an obvious passion and even more obvious talent.”

No.3F&R Boutique, Fiona is the neighbouring business to H&W. The boutique is a dress exchange, where you can take your preloved/never been worn items and Fiona sells them on your behalf, not only is this eco-friendly and sustainable – making fast fashion a thing of the past – but I couldn’t run my business without Fiona and her invaluable help (our five minute chats are a lifeline).”

#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?

“Can I say everything as I am pretty sure I have eaten everything! Popcorn…can’t stop though.”

#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?

“I am so very lucky to have a new puppy which was my 37th (!) Birthday present, she has been a shining light in this lockdown. I think playing with her and my children and seeing the laughter and joy she brings has been a great pick me-up.”

Halo & Wren

#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…

“Weirdly, cherries! Fresh cherries! My children are fruit monsters and we have been getting through industrial amounts of fruit and my daughter Poesy has been requesting cherries for about a month, we can’t find any, anywhere!”

#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…

“My husband has actually done the diy jobs that I have been nagging about for well over a year! Its very strange. I am going to miss moaning at him.”

#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?

“FaceTime, the grandparents have been able to do booktime at bedtime for my children and that’s been invaluable.”

Halo & Wren

#10 Name your lockdown hate:

“Not being able to work, I LOVE my job.”

#11 Name your lockdown love:

“Slowing down, I sit and have breakfast and listen to the bird song instead of rushing around, yelling about school uniforms, missing shoes, unmade lunch boxes, brushing hair, all whilst doing spellings!”

#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?

“My Mum, I always said my Nan (my mum’s Mum) gave the best hugs, but my Mum gives the best Nana hugs.”

#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?

“The little messages on social, brides sending me messages saying “loving the insta – its taking my mind off/or it’s inspiring me” etc. they truly make my day.”

#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?

“I am ever evolving H&W to keep up with the modern bride, I can’t wait to get back in the shop and show the future brides all of the new gowns arriving from Jane Hill and Aleena Leena. I am keen to support my current brides who are dealing with postponements and I am looking into a possible membership/group for H&W brides which has arisen from an email that I sent to some current brides who began a supportive group conversation – so this is an area I would like to explore.

Above: new gowns from Jane Hill arriving in August at Halo & Wren

I’m also very excited to be stocking the accessories from Maison Sabben too (they’re on their way from Paris right now!) “

Halo & Wren
Maison Sabben

#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:

No.1 “My husband and his job, he is currently carrying out a project at Luton & Dunstable Hospital so I am grateful to him for supporting our family, my business and I am proud of him.”

No.2 “Teachers – I don’t understand how Primary school teachers cope…I’m not!”

No.3 “Front line and essential workers, every single person doing those jobs that are keeping us alive, fed, entertained and enabling life to carry on in some fashion. DPD is my hero!”

#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?

“My reportage of fine dining is about once a year, being the owner of two young children so I am missing the things we took for granted before like a unplanned meal at somewhere like Prezzo, where we just rocked up at 17.00 and used our Meerkat meals vouchers! Never really appreciating how lucky we are to be able to just do that.”

Halo & Wren
New gown from Jane Hill arriving in August

#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?

“We only get about 1hr 45 mins from when the children go to bed until we get ready for bed so we haven’t been able to binge watch anything all the way through, however, we are fans of political drama and we are currently attempting to watch Designated Survivor, Homeland and Killing Eve. I can’t wait to watch the second series of Ricky Gervais’s After Life which is filmed on the Old High St. – home to Halo & Wren – in series 1 you see the pink exterior of H&W several times.”

#18 What would be your quarantine book list?

“I am currently reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – it is HARD going – so far I am in 18th Century New Zealand and it’s about gold mining. It’s not a book that I can read with any distractions so if I can’t sleep it’s perfect to let your mind relax into the complicated and in-depth novel.

Other than that, I would love recommendations on social media marketing books? I love learning about marketing.”

#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?

“Pimms, if I could I would!”

Want to discover more about Halo & Wren? Click here.

Read more WFH Diary entries from some of your favourite brands and designers here on Bridal Editor.

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