When you are self-employed there is always so much to do…re-organising, new projects, tax, marketing, social media, Zooms, things you had never time for etc., it is still busy… I cannot say that I was bored for one minute.” Anna-Jill Gierhards of Kiss From Fleur on her lockdown routine
Known for her innate ability to reinvent the world of weddings, Anna-Jill Gierhards of Kiss From Fleur is quite the spirited force to be reckoned with. With a background in fashion design (she studied at AMD and was a fashion designer for an international fashion label for 10 years) you can bet that at the Kiss From Fleur HQ the creative juices are always flowing. In her own words, “design is my language, individual styles are my signature”, and it’s with an acute attention to detail and aesthetics that this boutique wedding and event stylist spins and shapes out-of-this-world bridal editorials and love stories. I managed to catch up (digitally, of course) with Anna-Jill 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: “Overthinking, confused and scared.”
After: “Overthinking, acceptance and exhausted.”
#2 What time do you get up?
“That varies on my job on the day, it can be very very early or sometimes I decide to sleep in. In general I think now in lockdown it is around 7.30/8am.”
Did this change in lockdown?
“Yes of course, but as you are home all day, it does not matter when you get up. Some days are super positive and you have energy and you get up at 6am and do home gym. Then other days, I stay in bed until noon with my phone, just to be cozy.”
Was life a little slower?
“I can’t say. When you are self-employed there is always so much to do and when you work every day your backlog is huge…so, in terms of re-organising, new projects, tax, marketing, social media, Zooms, things you had never time for etc., it is still busy… I cannot say that I was bored for one minute. It is just a bit one-sided, as you don’t have breaks, you just concentrate on work and try not to think about the situation too much. I think it is also good trying to keep a similar rhythm.”
Talk to us about your usual daily routine and how this was changed by lockdown…
“Well, I go for a walk and then I have some breakfast while doing social media, emails etc., after some exercises at home (even more hard, because you are not motivated as everyday is same). Then I sort online food orders, work on my Mac till evening (while spending the afternoon in the sun, if possible)…cook dinner while the dishwasher is on non-stop ( I don’t know why ;-)) and then work on my Mac again – watching tutorials, learning new IT skills etc. The next day it’s going for the same walk again, shower, beauty, bed, social media, writing to friends, learning some Greek on an App, research and brainstorming for new projects coming – hopefully – soon. Then it is 11pm and I watch a bit of Netflix. I have never watched Netflix before. I bought it for Corona! I was crazy about Breaking Bad and Ozark.
In conclusion I felt like in the Disney Movie Tangled where she sings about when her life will begin. The whole day is like a schedule and “free activities” as gym, yoga, my greek course become duty as well…
I also wanted to fly to the bridal market in London to the Post Modernists Show…so sad, as we all had to cancel. Two days before the lockdown I was in Greece and just returned in time safe home!!”
#3 How did lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you now?
“Wow, that has a huge impact. I am, of course, thinking about how to change my business according to the Coronavirus, but in the end it is not what you really want to do. It is just that you have to manage and make the best out of the situation. This time will show also how businesses can react to the market. I started a small rental business, The Wed Stylist where I rent props and individual decor for weddings and photoshoots. As well all of this, it is important to focus now more on social media because this is now how you can reach your clients. On the other hand it should also be used with care, as Instagram should make you happy and not depress you more!!! I think we can also support each other in the community and build a better network.
For everybody who wants to support me as a small business, I am more than happy for likes and shared stories etc., because this will help me in future times!! So, ladies, Pin your HEART OUT!!!! Hahaha…”
#4 Name three local businesses/small Instagram businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “@ellwed – this lady has a printed magazine for destination brides who want to marry in Greece and she shares information about the big day and believes in community and network.”
No.2 “@rakorceremonies – a rental company based in Mykonos with real authentic bohemian wedding decor perfect for the modern bride. Eric has the right sense of aesthetics, not to distract from the moment of love itself with his furnitures and backdrops! All unique, made and designed by him!”
No.3 “@bvaerial – a cinematographer for destination weddings with his heart in the right place, highly professional, with a fine sense for moods and an eye for aesthetics.”
#5 What is/what was your favourite isolation snack?
“The Vanilla Soya drink from Alpro. I think I have to loose around 5kg too…omg…”
#6 Before lockdown eased slightly, what was your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you were feeling down?
“Book a flight ticket to Greece (I did now, I am brave).”
#7 What’s the item you could NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown…
“I have a big stock of hand sanitizer anyways always at home so I was well prepared! In the beginning, it was a struggle trying to get some French fries for home. Also, a real ice cream from a store! I had one last week! Or a fresh Croissant with chocolate!! Anything what is fresh made!!”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“I reflected on my business and discovered that my handwriting is really very strong and I am using the same items on weddings and shoot again in different styles and updates. As I usually do this automatically, I haven’t noticed this until now. It’s funny and surprising and I’m proud of myself ;-)”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Ok, these people are really annoying…
People without masks. People who fake their amazing life on Instagram with their home gym, banana bread, all perfect life with party, while others are suffering! Just everybody who puts their self first!”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“In these Coronavirus times you figure out who has the same mindset and which are the real friends. I’ve also loved building stronger connections and community love!!!”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“Ahhhh…every person I see sounds very nice!! Like a Labrador!!!”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“I am crying from reading this! To motivate ourselves within friends and colleagues gives me the most power. Friends who stay by your side and are there whenever they need you! <3”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“OK, so my company for Signature Destination Weddings is called KISS FROM FLEUR. I offer planning and styling, as well as design. I come from a fashion background and so I’m interested in creating and developing boutique events with love, heart and aesthetics, bespoke and designed especially for the couple.
During Covid, I also developed a rental company where I rent exquisite individual props and decor that you’d need for a micro-wedding or for a photo shoot. I’ve been collecting these for years and you will not find treasuries liken these elsewhere 😉
My other project for the autumn is ALCHIMEIA. It is a Workshop/Retreat for photographers and videographers to build their wedding portfolio. It will take place in a beautiful resort in Greece, which is reconstructed and was a winery before! It showcases a really abandoned industrial look. It is just unique!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “Family and friends.”
No.2 “The ability to focus on what really matters.”
No.3 “Learning lots of new things that have changed my view and way of thinking.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“I would like to go to Athens with my friends to eat a souvlaki with chicken and couscous salad (sounds easy but I am going crazy for this right now). After it would be nice to have a crepe with chocolate and banana!!!”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“Yes, Ozark and Breaking Bad. I also liked You. I only want to watch thrilling series to distract my head from overthinking! I would also like to play video games, but until now have not had the time for it as I know I’ll get addicted.”
#18 What would be on your quarantine book list?
“I’m still working through my fashion magazine and bridal magazine pile from last year, I never have time!”
#19 For a little Instagram-escapism, what three accounts would you recommend?
No.1 “@sundays_are_for _lovers“
#20 Name three things you bought online during lockdown.
No.1 “TRX for home gym.”
No.2 “Hair straightener.”
No.3 “A console for my photography shooting.”
#21 What was your ‘lockdown’ outfit most days?
“Abercrombie sweater and shorts are changing with a bikini. Only comfty clothes which is bad as you do not notice you gain weight if you always wear elastics. I don’t have a scale. It would depress me!”
#22 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“I would die for a gin tonic right now. Omg. Imagine…put that also on question 16 please!”
Want to discover more from Kiss From Fleur? Click here.
Read more WFH diary entries from your favourite bridal designers, brands and boutiques on Bridal Editor by clicking here.