“I chat to the radio hosts as if they are my work colleagues (my boyfriend often asks who I am chatting too and its generally always just my laptop).” Emily Newman of Lark & Berry on her new lockdown WFH routine
Lark & Berry are disrupting the jewellery industry with their glittering cultured diamonds and unique desire to do things a little differently. Conceived back in 2018, Lark & Berry are intent on building a more sustainable path when it comes to delivering on enchanting, alluring jewels that brides and clients covet the world over. Not only do the jewels you lust after on their website have a lower impact on the environment but they’ll dent the old bank balance less too (and, we all know that upon hearing the price tag of that gold mirrored dance floor you were pinning your hopes on, this is music to the ears). We caught up with Lark & Berry’s Head of Design, Emily Newman to discuss how she’s coping with 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: “Unfazed, nonchalant, confused.”
After: “Restless, grateful, hopeful.”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“I now roll out of bed at the later time of 8am. Previously, when I was going into the office every day, I would get up at 6:45am, have a pint of water and a pint of tea (yes really – a pint of tea), shower, dress and then cycle to work. Once I arrived in the office, I prepare breakfast, drink more tea and go through my emails whilst enjoying my porridge with fruit and cinnamon.
Now, I roll out of bed at 8am, drink a pot of tea, shower and get dressed (sometimes just into clean pyjamas), turn on the laptop and get started. Mealtimes are less structured as before, it’s just kind of when I get hungry. I’m definitely eating more—food has very much become the highlight of my day.
I always have BBC Radio 6 Music on when I work. I find that once I sit at the laptop, I am good at not getting distracted, as the music binds me to the computer. I chat to the radio hosts as if they are my work colleagues (my boyfriend often asks who I am chatting too and its generally always just my laptop). Luckily, overall, I’ve been quite good at focusing still. Some days are better than others, but if I get ideas and inspiration it’s super easy for me to leave sketches and notes in my workspace to carry on with the next time I log on.”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“We’ve been forced to close our flagship store for the time being—something many London businesses are of course going through during these tough times. We unfortunately had to furlough some staff as well. Orders are slower to get out to people as we are only processing them once or twice a week—although if people need items for a certain date, we do always try our best to get these to them. Normally, with the bespoke rings, we will have a face to face meeting to discuss what people want, so we can show them diamonds and examples of our quality. We’re now set up to do viewings remotely, which is great for health safety right now. On our website, you can book a virtual appointment online to see any of our pieces, including engagement rings. You can even contact us on WhatsApp to set up a video chat appointment!
The best way for people to support us is to shop with us and support the cultured diamonds movement. I think, whilst the world is sort of on pause right now, we have some time to reflect. The affect the human race has had on the earth and nature has become so clear, so it’s good that many people now want to support a diamond and gemstone option that is easier on the planet.”
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “Personally, I’m supporting the Whitechapel Mission, which is a homeless shelter in the area where I live. Homelessness is not a choice, and at times like these it’s important to remember that everyone is human, and I am in a very lucky position where I am still working and have a home that I can afford, whilst many are facing scary situations where their circumstances could change dramatically in the pandemic.”
No.2 “As a business, we are continuing to support One Tree Planted on our joint mission to plant fresh trees around the world per every Lark & Berry purchase. We’re prepping a program with a great organisation to provide meals to those in need also.”
No.3 “We are also still working on new designs, and in the process, supporting small workshops to make our jewellery. It’s great to provide work to amazing jewellery makers right now, when times are tough.”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“Sliced apple spread with peanut butter—yummy. This was also my favorite snack before, so some things haven’t changed!”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“I do love video calling and having a glass of wine with one of my closest friends. She’s been amazing at keeping everyone’s spirits up and helping it feel like we are together when we aren’t. She’s even sent me a jigsaw to do so I don’t go too stir crazy!”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“Good ice cream.”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“I found out my neighbours’ names!
I live in a flat with many others surrounding, and there are a lot of older residents that live alone. When lockdown first happened, I posted notes to everyone sending my best wishes and letting them know that if they need anything, I am more than happy to help. I got a few notes back, and now I finally know who lives at number 41.”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
“I’ve been using WhatsApp for one on one talks. For a gathering with friends, I’ve used Google Meet to do a weekly quiz game with them. Twitch is great for music casts, a friend does a house party/dj set every other weekend, it almost feels like you’re there kitchen dancing too!”
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Not being able to sit in and enjoy the sunshine and missing live music festivals. And, of course, I really miss seeing friends and family in person.”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“Even though it has to be done virtually, I have been chatting to my friends and family more regularly than ever.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“Emilie and Heather.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“When my friend Heather had some Easter eggs delivered to us on Easter Sunday.”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“We are focusing on bespoke or made-to-order products. We have just launched a new range of Veto cocktail rings. They’re stunning! Go to our website to view them. They can be ordered with any stone or metal combinations, so each ring can match the wearer’s individual style.”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “Friends and family.”
No.2 “Delivery drivers and postal service (as well as all front line and key workers).”
No.3 “Technology—I’m not a tech person, but I really appreciate how we can contact each other with video calls and live streaming.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“Good question. I’m not sure yet, but I’ll probably go somewhere with a group of friends, so somewhere centrally located. I also am looking forward to going to my favorite local Craft pub, as well as the local live music venue called The George Tavern as soon as I can.”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“We have watched Tiger King and Afterlife on Netflix, Meet the Richardsons on UKTV Play, as well as some bad movies and lots of random documentaries.”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
“Tall Tales and Wee Stories by Billy Connolly, Iggy Pop – Open Up and Bleed by Paul Trynka, Defying Gravity – Jordan’s Story by Cathi Unsworth, Face It by Debby Harry, and Art, Sex, Music by Cosey Fanni Tutti. As you can tell, I like non-fiction, especially with personalities linked to the arts and music scenes.”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“We have fallen in love with Great Western Wines and their delivery service, so red wine mainly. I have just ran out of Kraken Rum that is a good sipping drink or nice little night cap in our hot chocolates.”
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