Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - July/August 2020

79 QUARANTINE STORIES VENT FOR CHANGE, WWW.VENTFORCHANGE.CO.UK Despite finding lockdown frustrating, Evan Lewis, founder of VENT for Change, a sustainable stationery company, is using the time to evolve the start-up’s online offering. Can you tell us a bit about your company? VENT for Change is a sustainable stationery company that protects the planet and supports children’s education projects worldwide. We combine beautiful design with impeccable eco credentials. With every item sold we give to projects worldwide getting children the education they deserve. How are you finding lockdown? In a word; frustrating. We started the year with so much momentum and that seems to have been torn from underneath us. Having said that, our team is currently healthy and have managed to avoid COVID-19 for the time being. Our thoughts are with all those that have been affected directly. As a relative start-up we had focused most of our time and energy on getting stocked in retail stores. We had done this at the expense of our online offering. Being in lockdown and with many of our current and potential customers closed it has given us some time to look more closely at our e-commerce offering. What are your business plans during and after lockdown? As well as supplying a range of sustainable stationery to retail, behind the scenes we also run a UK wide Global Education Awareness Day for UK school children. It’s a day on which UK school children learn some of the reasons millions of children worldwide are missing out on education. This normally takes place on the third Wednesday in May. Rather than postponing or cancelling, we are busy making this a resource teachers can use with their pupils working from home instead of an immersive and collaborative day in schools across the country. What are you most looking forward to when life returns to normal? Getting some of our momentum back with the retailers we’ve been in talks with for the first quarter. We are very much looking forward to our stockists being back at work and open for business. The more we can sell, the more we can support. Do you have a top tip for businesses weathering this temporary storm? Do what you do best, don’t get too distracted. Remember the core principles of why you have a successful business and focus on those elements. Keep going, even if it’s a reduced range or fewer opening hours. Keep yourself present and in the game.