For many weeks in lockdown women having been holding the fort with juggling jobs and home schooling, but now an online event combining fashion and support could be a welcome distraction, writes Deborah Anderson
IT has received the backing of tennis legend Judy Murray and could be just the tonic that women looking for a little bit of support and conversation are in need of.
Women across Scotland and beyond are being invited to take part in a live online event full of fashion, fun and mutual support.
The free event, which will be streamed live on Instagram at 7pm on Sunday June 7, will focus on how women are juggling work, children and caring responsibilities during lockdown, with participants encouraged to share their own stories of how they are coping with the many challenges.
The event is being co-hosted by Lorna Quinn, owner of The Dress Shop in Milngavie, a fashion institution for more than 25 years.
Like many small independent shops, Lorna’s business has been badly impacted by coronavirus. But she has adapted quickly by launching an online boutique and learning how social media can help businesses serve new and existing customers.
Lorna will be joining Judy, a valued customer, in a discussion about how fashion and sport are catalysts for helping women stay positive and fit during lockdown, while giving advice on styles and fits for women at a time when they are expected to play so many different roles.
The pair want to hear from participants. How have you risen to your new challenges during lockdown? What do you do to keep yourselves and dependants motivated? How have you changed during lockdown and how do you hope to emerge when we can live and work freely again? Judy and Lorna will be talking about their own experiences while picking up hints and tips from the participants, including Judy’s thousands of followers on Instagram and Twitter.
The Dress Shop owner Lorna said: “I think this been hard time for everyone and women have been juggling a number of hats, and we women don’t always put ourselves first. During lockdown many of us have lost our support networks and I think we have realised just how important that is for us – a chat and a catch-up with a friend.
“There might be days when we don’t feel so great and just having someone to talk to and share that with is very important. I know I have been missing the regular contact with people who usually come in and out of the shop.”
When it was announced the country was going into lockdown, Lorna had fears for the future of her business but then a lifeline came along which transformed it.
“I had no idea what we were going to do. We were facing the prospect of a closed shop and I had no idea how we would come out of it,” Lorna said.
“However, Milngavie is in a BID area, business improvement district, and money had been made available to help people get online. It has been a lifeline for me and we have been able to move the business online and with a little help from my sister Sally we have been able to develop our social media platforms as she is an absolute whizz with that kind of thing.”
She is delighted to be able to host next Sunday’s event particularly with Judy Murray board.
Lorna added: “Judy is very inspirational and is a greater supporter of women in business as well. Her work in brining tennis to areas where there might not have been an opportunity to play the game is fantastic. We are delighted she will be joining us.”
Judy will also be answering questions on her own amazing journey, from tennis coach and mother of two Wimbledon champions, Sir Andy and Jamie, to finding her own voice as a motivator and businesswoman.
The fun and uplifting event will also allow participants to see the latest collections from the Dress Shop while enjoying a drink in the comfort of their home. They will also get access to an exclusive discount code.
Judy Murray said: “I am a huge believer in women supporting women in both business and sport, and I am looking forward to teaming up with Lorna to talk fashion and forehands with her gang. She is a big tennis fan and I love how she has adapted her business to provide an online service and stay connected with her customers during this pandemic.”
Since moving online The Dress Shop has now attracted new customers from up and down the country.
Lorna added: “The Dress Shop is an established boutique catering for woman aged 35-plus, a group the high street tends to forget about. My purpose is to offer beautiful collections for every woman and I want my customers to feel empowered and fabulous for any occasion, from picking the kids up from school to running a board meeting or watching Wimbledon.”
The Dress Shop which is now online has created a social media buzz on Facebook and Instagram, building a community of like-minded women. Go online at www.thedresshop-glasgow.co.uk to see more, including collections and videos.
Do you have a story of how you’ve coped through lockdown, or tips to help other women? Email [email protected] and we’ll share your advice