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Day in the life No. 7 — The girls of Baina

Bailey Meredith — Auckland

How has your everyday routine changed since COVID-19? 

If anything, it's allowed me to enforce a routine that I desperately seek but never seemed to grasp. While I am a creature of habit, I also can be very reactive meaning routine often goes out the window. This time has allowed me to refine my schedule and implement structure. I have relished in the mundane repetition of the rituals I have created through this time.

Do you think the global pandemic we are experiencing right now will encourage consumers to shop more consciously? 

Absolutely. While the change may be small, I think we are already seeing the shift to make more conscious shopping choices, whether it's supporting local or investigating the where, how, why and who around manufacturing. I think long term consumers will continue to take into account the impact on the economy and/or environment when making the decision of what to purchase.

What has been the hardest part of owning a small business? 

COVID 19 has been a sort of handbrake to our business. Before March, Anna and I were basking in the new business glory, excited for all the possibilities that lay ahead of us in 2020. We had just come home from Paris Fashion Week and Portugal visiting our factory. The spirits were high and there was opportunity on the horizon. On our return, because of Covid and its closures in the retail market, we swiftly had to push pause on our plans. We’ve had to re-channel our energies from the 'full steam ahead’ mode we were in, to actively making our time in isolation about looking inwards, putting measures in place to ensure Baina has a solid foundation, something which we can build upon for when we can begin to move forward again.

  

Lot's of people have been talking about how this experience has forced them to slow down, has this been true for you guys?

In some ways yes. I'm not one to be still, instead I prefer a constant state of distraction, always keeping busy and being constantly preoccupied with a multitude of personal and work projects. This experience has forced me to stop and seek a different perspective on how to fill, or in my case - not fill my time.

What are you grateful for right now?

All the little things - sunny days, morning walks, day time bathing, freshly baked bread deliveries, good company (just my husband), my studio in my back yard allowing me a place to escape during the day, long Sunday lunches, a glass of red by the fire, strong friendships that been a virtual-lifeline during this new way of living.

  

What has been keeping you entertained in isolation? 

Our newest family member Gruff, an 8-week old Wheaten terrier. Gruff arrived during lockdown and we have been completely immersed in the settling of him in our home.

  

What are you most looking forward to when normality returns? 

Catching up with family and friends. Zoom and Facetime have been a sufficient place holder but nothing beats spending time together in person.

My sister and newborn niece returned to NZ after living in Melbourne during lockdown which has been a little torturous- knowing they were so close but not being able to visit. I cannot wait for all the endless cuddles and story reading.

What can we expect next from Baina

A thoughtful continuation of what we have already created - new pieces that complement and broaden our first collection.

  

 

Anna Fahey — Melbourne

How has your everyday routine changed since COVID-19? 

We have had our foot on the accelerator since Baina launched in November 2019. In many ways this forced reprieve is welcomed - whilst it certainly has had an adjustment period, my body and mind has been rewired and it now feels good to slow down and refocus. Leaving me more time for things I love like yoga, walking, bathing and cooking.

   

Do you think the global pandemic we are experiencing right now will encourage consumers to shop more consciously? 

I truly hope so. I have to say this pandemic has surfaced some encouraging conversations and appears to be awakening people in ways that I’d not observed prior to Covid-19. Even personally, whilst I like to think I am a conscious consumer it has certainly been an opportunity to educate myself further. Moving forward I will be purchasing from brands who are transparent about their supply chain, and who are actively leading change.  

What has been the hardest part of owning a small business? 

I think Bailey would agree, we feel in many ways fortunate that we only have the 2 of us in the business, particularly in the current climate. However, there are many limitations, we know what we know and are by no means experts in other facets of the business ie. accounting and analytics, but this time of isolation has been a fantastic opportunity to learn and seek contractors to assist us.

  

Lot's of people have been talking about how this experience has forced them to slow down, has this been true for you guys?

I am a home body at heart, so I love my own time to decompress, and this has meant a return to elements of life that can largely be skimmed in ’normality’. I honestly love bathing, and this new pace has allowed me to do this guilt free, any time of the day. It is not only divinely relaxing, but when all the uncertainty hit, it was a way to retreat from the negativity, submerge myself, be still, and reset. 

What are you most grateful for right now?

I’m so grateful for my husband. We got married September last year and with only the two of us in our bubble, it really has been a special time. Also my home, with the current state of the world and economy it certainly makes you appreciate what you have and how easy it is to lose it, I certainly don’t take ours for granted.

What has been keeping you entertained in isolation? 

When I’m not working I have been doing a lot of very large walks. Being new(ish) to Australia I still get so much pleasure out of all the different flora and fauna, and this autumnal change has made for much moodier views - the parks are a wonderful shade of ochres, rust and greens. My camera roll is filled to the brim with snapshots of this. Also with all this time at home I have enjoyed, playing with styling and florals

  

What are you most looking forward to when normality returns? 

I miss my Kiwi friends and family, so I will be catching the first flight out of Melbourne to NZ - I long for those one on one wine-fuelled conversations, sat on the sofa, music playing into the night, deeply delving into the nitty-gritty of life.

What can we expect next from Baina

You can expect some lovely additions to the collection in time for Christmas. A new pool towel, some face cloth’s, a bath mat and a new hand towel. All of the additions were designed to pair back to the current range. Watch this space!

  

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