“I have had so much sleep compared to normal it has been a blessing for my eye bags.” Aislinn Simmonds of Duchess Plum on how lockdown changed her daily routine
“Regally Fruity”, with a penchant for pink and an innate ability for infusing her work with joy, there’s no doubt I fell HARD for Duchess Plum’s designs as soon as I digitally tripped over her Instagram feed coffee in-hand (side note: I’d fallen down the gram’s digital rabbit hole one morning again). Behind the – beautifully named – brand is artist, Aislinn Simmonds who, in her own words, is “a one woman band fuelled by coffee and podcasts in her small studio on the South Coast of England.” I can also tell you that I felt an immediate affinity with Aislinn, not only because hand on heart her work feels my soul with utter happiness, but because – as you’ll find out – her lockdown hate is her roots! All I can say is I feel your pain. I caught up with Aislinn to get the low-down 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: “Gosh it’s so long ago now I cant even remember!”
After: “Creative, content and optimistic.”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“Woah! Yes, since lockdown my routine has completely changed, I have had so much sleep compared to normal it has been a blessing for my eye bags. I find myself constantly running on empty and this time has been so lovely to recharge and to enjoy some well deserved lie ins. My routine at the beginning of lockdown was pretty ambitious compared to now, At first I was a bit like… new life = new me! So productive – waking up at 7am and going for a morning stroll along the beach, working out, eating avocado for breakfast, writing to do lists and baking cakes! It’s all just fizzled out really and I now take every day as it comes. No lists and no cakes.”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“Lockdown has not impacted me as such, I have spent less time in pub gardens and more time designing away at home! Making money rather than spending it! In terms of support it honestly makes me so happy when my clients recommend me to others, word of mouth is something I am always grateful for!”
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “FOUND shop & studio – an independent art shop I have only just discovered in my hometown on a lockdown walk peering through the window…excited to go and look inside properly!”
No.2 “South By West – a quirky little coffee shop right by my local train station. They are pretty new so I hope lockdown hasn’t had any affect as it’s such a little gem!”
No.3 “I always stay loyal to my local florist Flower Designs – its owned and run by one of my closest friends mum.”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“Tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil on granary toast popped under the grill. I am bit of a sucker for a Cadbury’s flake yogurt too!”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“One thing that helped me relax over lockdown has been a beach walk – fresh air to clear the mind!”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“Big pasta shells which you can fill! I am always pinning recipes for this type of pasta but can never give it a go!”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“Nothing really, life has never been so uneventful!”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
#11 Name your lockdown love:
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My nieces and nephews, I just want to squeeze their cheeks.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“When my boyfriend runs me a bath – so easy but so appreciated. :)”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“I have an exciting new collaboration with Casely which will be a phone case collection! Launching soon!!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “Family and friends.”
No.2 “The beach.”
No.3 “My phone.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“Andalucia – my local tapas, its UNREAL! So hard to get a table there though it gets booked up so quickly.”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“I loved Selling Sunset and Below Deck, binge worthy TV which you don’t have to think too hard about.”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
“Ha! Oops..I haven’t read any books (it was on my to-do list)”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“I am really into rosé wine at the minute, light blush and ice cold.”