AKINN STORIES: REFLECTIONS WITH JAMIE YEO
Public Figure, Host, Business Owner, Wife, Mother.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many upheavals in routine, forcing all of us to relook how we live, work and play. At AKINN, we have gone back to the drawing board to assess how our designs can remain relevant and focused - always for the customer - and adapt to this new normal.
Fresh challenges, pleasant surprises, creative workarounds. We’ve been reminded that it’s the little things that make us feel more confident - the simple joys and power of getting up and getting dressed.
What was life like before COVID-19 hit us all?
Life before COVID-19 was pretty hectic. There were meetings to go to, errands to run and children to look after. There was hardly time to breathe and be present.
How has your life changed since?
Things are still busy except nowadays, meetings with clients are all done on Zoom which is so awesome! I've always wondered why we don't do that when all the technology was always there. We waste so much time travelling to and from meetings when actually, issues can be discussed succinctly and efficiently via teleconferences.
So with the time saved on face to face meetings, I'm getting lots more done in the day and now set aside some time for non interrupted quality time with the kids everyday.
What are 3 things you have learnt since adjusting to this new normal?
Firstly, we humans need to socialize. I'm not talking about crazy big parties. I'm just talking about having a conversation with other humans over coffee or good food. I went crazy during the lockdown being at home so much!
Secondly, we don't need much fancy things. I've long believed that we don't need luxury brands in our lives. (Many of these brands advocate such horrific waste like burning old season products. If you do your research, you'd be utterly disgusted). The Pandemic has taught us that life and this earth itself is precious. Much too precious to not look after.
And lastly, I've learned that we in Singapore need to be more self sufficient. We need to start growing our own food with the ample resources we have here. Sure, we don't have much land but we get lots of sunlight and rain. We need to harness the dead space in our buildings and start growing food!
Why do you continue to get ready & dress up?
Because it motivates me to get into work mode. I can't get into the right frame of mind if I'm still in my sleep clothes. ;) Also dressing up gives one confidence.
What are some of the little things that bring you joy now?
Eating together as a family. We have so much trying new stuff and feasting. My family loves to eat so meal times can be quite epic.
Have mum duties changed since everyone is spending more time at home?
Yes. I now have to constantly think up activities to engage them so they don't watch too much Netflix!
Virtual hosting, social media brand collaborations, Instagram Live. Do you think this is the way forward for you?
Yeah for sure! It gives me great time flexibility, takes full advantage of my presenting experience and pays well enough for me to do it full-time. It also gives me a chance to create new projects like my jewelry line, Lula J Jewelry, @lulajjewelry on Instagram.
What are the moments or stories that brought you happiness, hope and encouragement, even during this time of uncertainty?
Truth be told, there have been more instances that have brought me anything but happiness, hope and encouragement. People are more bitter when things aren't going well for them and you see their opinions all over social media. For me, I'm just thankful that my family is healthy and that we live in Singapore where we're well taken care of.
Any advice to share with anyone having a hard time coping?
Please don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, the hardest part is reaching out and exposing your vulnerabilities.
What is the one thing you love about working from home?
That my two kids are close by for a quick kiss, and the fridge is close by for a quick snack. ;)