Today seems very surreal and at times quite frightening, but it can also be enlightening if we can approach it with gratitude and enthusiasm for the things we are still able to do and love.
Just as you are doing, the girls at Cashmere & Cotton are staying safe and isolated at home right now. I am still able to pop into the office, a short walk away and dispatch any orders that come in from you online but our work life has fundamentally stopped for a while and things are feeling a little strange.
So we have like so many others (and in the spirit of keeping calm and carrying on), decided that that now is the time to take pleasure in the beautiful things that surround us and maybe concentrate on home, garden and the family even if we can’t all be with them in person.
So...here is the first of our weekly peek into our daily life at home in the Cheshire countryside, which we hope might give you a little inspiration and make you smile. As a quick introduction, I thought I would introduce our lovely team who many of you will know but some, not quite yet!
BRIDGET, our office manager is an earth mother. She loves the countryside and wide open spaces, cares passionately about the environment and reads more books in a month, than I own. (why not take a look at her suggestions for great reads in our monthly book club?)
A born organiser and researcher, we can always rely on Bridget to keep us up to date with everything that is going on in the world and organise the best girly trips (Amsterdam was a blast!).
Bridget is a brilliant cook. There is nothing she likes more than searching for, sharing and rustling up stunning, healthy recipes in her cosy farmhouse kitchen. This week she cooked Butternut Squash with Pistachio, Pesto and Pomegranate Seeds from a wonderful new cookery book of Middle Eastern recipes, "Persiana" by Sabrina Ghayour. The image below right is Bridget's version....how impressive is that? We have added a photograph from the book of the recipe, if you fancy having a go yourselves.
CHRIS, who heads up all our major events and shows around the country, (when not on lockdown) is passionate about YOGA. She insists that this is what keeps her young and agile. For any of you who have met Chris, you will know that a more elegant, positive, energetic and beautiful woman does not exist. Chris reminds us everyday to live in the moment, to be grateful for what we have and to always think positive thoughts. Here she is at The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, a few summers ago when things were very different.
Chris starts everyday with 15 minutes of yoga, in her kitchen. Why not try an online class and maybe do the same. We can't guarantee that you will end up looking as good as Chris at her age (sworn to secrecy!) but might be worth a go!
HATTIE is our newest member of the team and at a mere 24 years of age, sometimes looks at life a little differently to the rest of us. Hattie likes to put us right about colours and trends (she selected our new Sage Green this season and oh boy, she got it so right!). Always researching the high street to see what’s coming up and what’s on trend....and the Zara parcels just keep arriving.
Hattie loves nothing more than long walks with her beloved Nellie, in the beautiful Cheshire countryside, and sometimes even shares a desk with her faithful hound on the days when the office is otherwise quiet.
The lockdown for Hattie is proving a little more difficult than the rest of us as gardening, reading and cooking are not on her list of favourite things to do. Keeping fit is keeping Hattie sane right now as she partakes in bike rides, running and circuit training.
And then there is me...... TRACY
My passions (apart from Cashmere) are my home and my garden.
I am taking time, like so many of you to tidy and re-organise my garden, and looking forward to the fine weather in the weeks ahead. My only sadness is that I won't be able to pop to the garden centre to refresh my borders or to get some inspiration. Over the next few weeks I shall be creating some new spaces in my garden and sharing these with you. I am also going to show you how to store and organise your cashmere knitwear to keep it at its best and to protect it from Moths now that the warmer weather is approaching and the onset of the Moth season. I do love to cook also but don’t think I would ever be as brave as Bridget and let you all see the fruits of my labour in a photograph!
We have a few other valuable members of our team too, Like Rose, Shelley, Penni, Jackie and our friends and models, Sally, Amber, Annabelle and Nina who we laugh with, share our passions with and who we couldn't live without. We hope to be sharing their stories and loves over the next few weeks.
Stay home and stay safe, and please send us your stories and ideas for keeping well and tell us what gives you joy during this difficult time, we would love to hear from you.
Bridget, Amber, Hattie, Chris, Sally and me, Tracy on our Autumn photoshoot xx
I have been a fan of your jumpers for a number of years – my first purchase was a mustard seed ribbed jumper and poncho at the Country Living Fair – I have worn it so much and it looks as good as the day I bought it! I have just bout a camel v-neck jumper and ponco and I absolutely LOVE them – they will become a wardrobe staple. It is always worth investing in cashmere as it never dates, never goes out of fashion and looks as good on whether you’re 20 or (like me) closer to 60!
Stay safe in these strange times.
Just discovered your blog and wanted to say how lovely it is to meet the team and to put names to faces. I have been buying from Cashmere & Cotton since I discovered you a few years ago (Country Living Fayre in Glasgow/many online purchases). My abigail sweater is my go-to sweater and I now have one in most of the colours you have made it in. My original blue sweater has travelled the world with me keeping me both stylish and cosy on long haul flights – seems a distant memory now – even as lockdown eases. It washes beautifully and still likes looks as good as the day I purchased it – some 5 or more years ago! Excellent value for money/low cost per wear!
I have recently made an online ourchase and managed to add to my abigail collection in charcoal.
I trust you and yours are all well. I also look forward to seeing what you new products you launch. Delighted that I can still purchase on-line – and look forward to hopefully seeing you in Glasgow at the County Living Fair when life is not so adversely affected by Covid.
Stay safe and keep well.
You are so kind to email us all ,greatly appreciate . Please all your wonderful team ,keep safe ,healthy and positive and in time we hope this sad situation for all of us ,the whole world will pass and that it will be a better caring ,supportive society.
I love the 2 gilets I have bought from you .
Thank you again.
Suzanne de Y
My most beloved shortish pockety sweater is finally giving up the ghost. I couldn’t find the style in the latest collection…have you none left? I wear it almost every day!
I have found your emails strangely comforting in these strange times. Good luck and take care.
That is a cheerful email – thank you. I just wanted to remind you to keep yourself safe too and we all look forward to being “let out” to mingle with others. But I fear that will be a very long time ahead.
Thank you for all your lovely letters. I have ordered a wrap and look forward to receiving it but no hurry. Hope you are all managing to keep your peckers up!