#damnthepan is the brainchild of our founder Alexia Genta. She believes that the support she received from her loved ones and network is what made Geraldine London a success. It is thanks to this help that she was able to keep paying her seamstresses and donate to Women’s Aid.
#damnthepan brought us together, and in a world still reeling in the trauma of this virus, there is strength in unity and a need more than ever before for women to work together.
We support each other, from a business and mental health point of view - we brainstorm, share good ideas and are open about our weaknesses. We’re not going to let the pandemic stop us!
Meet the wonderful members of our growing #damnthepan support network.
If you would like to join the network or have any PR enquiry please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About my business: Having founded Alexia Alterations for the high end of London’s clothes alterations world. Women from across the globe travelled to her atelier in Knightsbridge to get couture dresses and bridal gowns altered. “Finding the right seamstress was the key element in building a real business. I needed talent and vast experience but I also needed her to take a chance on my business making it. My seamstress had to take a chance on me."
How COVID impacted me: Life as we know it has shifted almost overnight and Alexia Alterations was put on hold. Feeling an obligation to her seamstress along with a need to keep working, she launched Geraldine London, using her unique access to couture fabric. Geraldine London has now been featured in WWD, Daily Mail, Luxury London, and even on the cover of You Magazine worn by Katherine Ryan. Since then, she has been donating to Women’s Aid and also built #damnthepan, a network of women, who either set up their business in lockdown or have been particularly challenged by COVID-19.
My strengths: Getting things done!
About my business: BakesterBox provides gourmet home baking kits, curated using the finest ingredients, handy baking equipment and easy to follow instructions. Our goal is to enable you to create truly delicious and indulgent bakes at home, by providing perfectly-measured, professional-quality ingredients (such as patisserie flour, gourmet chocolates and high-fat butters) direct to your doorstep.
How COVID impacted me: Back in March 2020, I had just graduated from Le Cordon Bleu with a classical-French patisserie diploma, and was planning to work as a pastry chef in a 5* London hotel. But as lockdown hit the UK, all such plans were put on hold. As a creative outlet to share my baking passion, I began writing recipes for an online magazine and sharing ideas on social media. Soon, I realise that although readers had the best intentions with baking, they either didn't have the right ingredients or equipment at home - nor the time/ability to go out and find them - and as a result, their bakes were not turning out quite right. So, I decided to do something about it and provide exactly what people needed to create their best bakes at home.
My strengths: Finance, attention to detail and problem solving
How COVID Impacted me: Lockdown for me was a time of re-finding my love for art; I was able to experiment with different mediums and styles before settling on watercolour. As I was fortunate enough to be living at my parents' home I decided against partaking in the Artist Support Pledge and instead donated a percentage of sales to different charities, as a student this isn’t something I can often to so it felt really rewarding to see my art put to good use. I am now currently working towards my first group exhibition in London in December.
My strengths: Design
About my business: Details is a home organizing company with a heart for inspiring simplicity. I am an Interior Decorator and a Professional Home Organizer specialized in the KonMari™ Method by Marie Kondo. I am passionate about creating beautiful spaces, but more than the aesthetics, I love building systems and solutions that support my clients' lifestyles and allow them to achieve their goals and reduce the stress of everyday lives.
How COVID impacted me: Details has been launched in January 2020 offering in-home organizing sessions and workshops. Because of COVID, the entire offer had to be reviewed, but I'm now able to fully support my clients virtually, with the same passion, focus to details and simplicity.
Strengths: organisation, adaptability
About my business: My name is Udi and I launched Cups of Candles in January 2020 after resigning from my job as a Bookkeeper just a month prior. At Cups of Candles I handcraft a range of home fragrances using a beautiful natural soy wax. My flagship product is Soy wax candles in new teacups, copper mule mugs, wine glasses and more. My plan was to sell at craft fairs.
How COVID impacted me: When markets started to close due to lockdown I had no other choice than to adapt and learn how to sell online and promote on social media. This is a blessing in disguise as now that the markets re opened I am able to sell online as well as in person. Increased expenses was another issue as I had not budgeted for postage and packaging so I ended up making most of my own packaging with a logo stamp and painted the boxes myself.
Strengths: Finance and book keeping
About my business: Emma O’Dea Art is a fine art business created during lockdown. I am a nature artist who works on commission to paint people’s pets using acrylic. As well as this, I paint original work, including animals and plants, to sell and turn into prints and cards.
How COVID impacted me: During lock down my work contract was due to end in June and it was subsequently not renewed. This, alongside the absence of job vacancies, I saw it as an opportunity to create Emma O’Dea Art to earn money whilst trying to start my dream career as an artist.
Strengths: Branding and marketing
About my business: Classic with a Twist! From the handcrafted techniques of traditional stationery artisans comes the chicest and cheekiest collection of cards, postcards, place cards, and notepads! I am excited to share a project born during COVID Lockdown in London with the intention of capturing and creating life’s noteworthy moments. Stationery has always been a passion of mine. Quite literally, it is in my blood. In 1856 my Great Great Grandfather immigrated from England to America and opened a stationery shop in New York’s Financial District. Nearly 200 years later, I relocated from New York to London in a reversal of the journey undertaken by my ancestor, James Leach.
How COVID impacted me: As time differences made communication challenging, I returned to exchanging letters with my loved ones back home. What I noticed was that not only was writing, sending, and receiving notes a joy but, long after the moment had passed there was a warm and tangible way to relive the lovely feelings. During lockdown, the possibility of seeing family and friends was eliminated so mail, became even more important in connecting us all.
Strengths: How to make an emotional connection with client
About my business: I make vegan, cruelty free, reiki infused candles using a soy & Coconut wax blend and essential oils. I started making candles just to refill all the empty candle jars I had at home, and also as a creative outlet to help with my mental health. Once I started making them, I knew I wanted to try and turn it into a business, but I had no clue how and I had a whole lot of self doubt. I did a Reiki healing course in the new year and when I passed my course I was gifted a reiki infused candle, which changed the vibe of the whole house. I knew I wanted to bring this same energy to others with my candles.
How COVID impacted me: When lockdown happened and I was furloughed, I decided to finally figure out how to turn these candles I loved, into a business. I knew that I wanted to infuse them with the same loving, healing energy which I'd experienced. I also wanted the company to adhere to my own personal values so I try to keep the prices low, keep them environmentally friendly, sustainable, ethical and vegan.
Table Tribe was founded by Jennifer, during COVID lockdown. At a time when the world was closing its doors and people were feeling isolated, Jennifer wanted to create something that inspired people to enjoy eating at home again, albeit in small groups. With the idea to bring back the classic dinner parties of the past, the focus of the table styling kits is on the atmosphere of a dinner rather than the food. With a beautiful table setting, the right music and cocktails in hand, Table Tribe makes it easy to say cheers with friends and family!
Strengths: E Commerce and problem solving
Tea in the Moment is a new brand of cacao tea. We use the outer shells of cacao beans and blend them with organic, whole ingredients for a natural, herbal alternative to traditional hot drinks. Each sip is like enjoying a piece of your favourite quality dark chocolate.
How COVID Impacted me: Tea in the Moment was created after I had to leave a job back in February. I knew that companies wouldn't be hiring at this time so I thought I would use the time to create the business I had always wanted to create. I think with increased home-based lifestyles, premium tea consumption is on the rise with a demand for new, innovative flavours. People now have the time to experiment with new blends and are enjoying the process of making loose leaf tea.
Strengths: branding and design
Alba Amicorum is a gallery and incubator for wearable textile art, and it grew out of my years working as an artist and graphic designer in New York and London. I loved the process of collaborating with other creative minds and I wanted to continue that in a new way. So together with artists, I produce limited edition silk scarves, hand printed in Italy.
How COVID impacted me: Just before COVID I had moved into a new studio, ready to relaunch my business and a new collection, but everything had to be put on hold during lockdown. Now I can have gallery visits by appointment but no launch events so sales have suffered. My priority during the pandemic has been to keep supporting those artists who have had shows cancelled through profit sharing, as far as sales will allow.