“Well, like everyone else in the country I attempted baking – even bought a loaf tin. When the flour shortage hit I went online and ordered some flour and sugar from a wholesaler. It’s only when it arrived on my doorstep that I realised my mistake, I had ordered 32kg of flour. The box was bigger than my daughter. 9 months on, and we are still working our way through it…” Danielle Kendall, Founder of Team Hen on the thing she couldn’t find during lockdown
Cool AF hen party gifts are a go-go with Team Hen, the ultimate hen party mecca for all things super sassy and – thankfully – not tacky. Leave L Plates, flashing tiaras and willy straws for dust with Team Hen’s achingly slick selection of bridal shower gifts, favours and accessories. Conceived by Danielle Kendall, the creative mind behind the brand (and interestingly, a former IT engineer for a multinational insurance company), the brand’s Instagram-worthy online store and products will instantly become your pit-stop for all things hen-related (definitely worth bookmarking their URL STAT). I managed to catch up with Danielle (digitally, of course) to get the lowdown on her lockdown 3.0…
#1 Lockdown 3. In three words, describe how you are currently feeling…
“Its not Lockdown I’m concerned with so much as the school situation – this is the second time they’ve closed schools, so with a five and eight year old, plus running an online business, my general thoughts range from ‘WTAF’ to ‘We’ve got this’ – depending on how close to wine time it is…”
#2 Talk to us about your usual daily routine for your business and how this will change in lockdown…
“I have two young children, so my day used to start at 7am – getting them up, dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast, school bags, and out the door on a frantic school run. Since the first lockdown my husband now works from home, which is a blessing, in some ways. He takes the kids to school every day, leaving me free to enjoy my coffee in peace. Such a treat!
When the kids are being homeschooled, our day wouldn’t really start until 9:30am – that’s the earliest I could face the school work! I have zero patience, so trying to run a business whilst homeschooling a young five year old and a surly eight year old is no fun!”
#3 How will/does lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you throughout?
“Our business used to be primarily hen parties, but we have adapted over the years to cater for brides and bridesmaids as well. This really came into its own during the first lockdown, as brides were turning to us for pick-me-up gifts (such as our popular Bridal Subscription boxes) and sales soared over the summer as brides were faced with postponing their weddings.
Understandably our hen party side of the business took a hit last year, as there were much fewer weddings, let alone hen parties – but we took the time to reflect on our offering and launched new product ranges in the autumn, which included our luxury candles. These proved very popular with both brides and as Christmas gifts.
We also launched a wholesale collection available for Bridal Boutiques – a lot of our bride gifts make great at-till purchases, so I spent time reaching out individually to boutique owners and the uptake on this side of the business has been incredible.”
#4 Name three small businesses on Instagram you are supporting or would like to support more…
#5 Favourite lockdown snack? Has this evolved from lockdown 1?
“Square Salt & Vinegar Crisps – an oldie but a goodie. I buy them for the kids, but who am I kidding – they don’t get a look-in.”
#6 What’s your most recommended lockdown pick-me-up when you’re feeling down during lockdown? What’s getting you through the days?
“A walk – I started walking every day before the first lockdown, and I swear it saved my sanity during those long months where my children were at home and I was attempting ‘homeschool’. Forty minutes to myself, listening to whichever book I was reading at the time. I’m a Nordic noir kinda girl, so fairly dark listening, but that’s how I relax!”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown?
“Well, like everyone else in the country I attempted baking – even bought a loaf tin. When the flour shortage hit I went online and ordered some flour and sugar from a wholesaler.
It’s only when it arrived on my doorstep that I realised my mistake, I had ordered 32kg of flour. The box was bigger than my daughter.
9 months on, and we are still working our way through it…”
#8 Name a dinner/meal or beverage choice you feel might bring someone joy to their lockdown life…
“Margaritas – any time, any day, any where!”
#9 Talk us through what’s new at your brand…
“Self Care!! We launched our candles late last year, and they were a real hit. I knew this year would start very much like last year ended, so we have expanded this range and launched a Himalayan salt soak, wax melts and bath bombs. Not your typical Hen Party faire, but a thoughtful gift for a loved one that can be easily sent in the post!”
#10 What’s your lockdown outfit most days? Have you, say, developed an unhealthy attachment to the elasticated waists of your leggings like myself?
“Erm….joggers, sweats and jumpers! Especially in winter – its all about comfort and warmth when you’re working at home. Though I have been to known to squeeze into a pair of jeans when doing the school run.”
#11 What series have you now completed on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc.? Any recommendations?
“We’re super behind the times with some series, as we were too busy watching Below Deck most of last year. We’re watching The Crown at the moment and really enjoying that – we are not history buffs, so every twist and turn is a surprise!
When I get Netflix/Prime to myself I head for the foreign language stuff – The Bureau, Trapped, The Bridge – all excellent!”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My best friend Kirsty – her newborn daughter was only three months old when we went into lockdown, so by the time I see her again she will nearly be two years old. It’s unbelievable really.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“The local DPD driver knows where I live, from when the business was based here, not in a creepy way; so when he has deliveries for our new work address and no one is in, he comes out of his way and drops them off at my house. He’s such a lovely guy.”
#14 For a little Instagram-escapism and positivity, what account would you recommend?
“@lifewithlitwicks – Becky is my absolute fav, she’s funny and real and I love seeing her day to day antics, and new pup Carlos.”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “My Husband – it used to really annoy me when he’d occasionally work from home, taking over my space etc. but now he’s a permanent fixture and gets to see the kids so much more; we also really get on and make each other laugh, which obviously I knew beforehand but its nice to know you can spend 24 hours 365 days a year in someone’s company and not be sick of the sight of them.”
No.2 “School – everyday my kids are in school I am grateful! For both them and myself – I need alone time, which was hard to come by during lockdown.”
No.3 “Holidays – you don’t realise how much you’ll miss them until they’re gone! Travelling abroad with young children can be a hassle, but you realise you would take ALL that just to be on a plane again!”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted again?
“The Fat Duck! We’ve had to postpone it three times – but finally have it booked in at the end of May; I cannot wait to immerse myself in the degustation menu with good friends.”
#17 What would be your five film recommendations to watch during lockdown…
“My film list is quite eclectic – from true stories, foreign language dramas to low budget horrors; here is what I’ve most enjoyed this year;
- Host ( I LOVE a low budget horror and this one is stand out good!)
- Train to Busan ( Korean zombie horror with humour and heart)
- Into The Wild ( liberating and heartbreaking at the same time)
- The Blind Side ( one of my favourites – always makes me cry)
- Ready or Not ( laugh out loud horror – what’s not to love!)”
#18 What book would be top of your lockdown book list?
“I love a Nordic noir or ghostly tale – my favourite this year has been The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James.”
#19 Name an odd purchase you’ve made during lockdown…
“A bike! I have a young family and all last year they would disappear for hours on end on bike rides around Milton Keynes’ many redsways – it only took me till lockdown 3.0 to get my own bike- which leads me onto the next question…”
#20 The best gift you received this festive period?
“A gel bike seat! Having not ridden a bike since my uni days, my derrière very much appreciated this gift!”
#21 Name a brand you would love to collaborate with…
“Oooh, Maids to Measure would be a dreamy collab; I think their contemporary bridesmaid vibe with our modern take on bridesmaid accessories would be a match made in heaven.”
#22 What’s your advice to lockdown brides?
“Hang in there! Brighter days are coming, with any luck by summer you will be able to have the wedding you always dreamed of. The most important thing is that you are with the one you love – so enjoy being locked down together and kick-off that wedmin again.”
#23 Your favourite wine/cocktail/drink? Or tea/coffee/hot chocolate?
“My husband is not a big drinker, so rather than open bottle of rosé for one I’ve started drinking wine in cans – I know, I know, but hear me out. They’re just the right amount for one glass, easy to chill and the rest of the bottle doesn’t go flat in the fridge! BABE UK have the cutest cans – I can’t wait until I can share them with my girlfriends.”
#24 Name your favourite magazine to curl up with.
“Although I’m not a bride-to-be, it has to be Rock N Roll Bride Magazine – the aesthetics are dreamy, and it makes me want to plan my wedding all over again. Im working on the husband for a vow renewal….”
Discover the endless supply of cool AF hen party accessories and gifts on Team Hen immediately via their slick website.