Sue Duminy described this time, (COVID-19 & the subsequent Lockdown aspects), as bitter sweet. Feeling as though she were in a dream, and that the happenings and events around her had no real bearing on reality.
Sue is the co-purchaser of the online based boutique Opari, specializing in high end apparel & accessories, which was founded by her best friend, Shireen Louw, and has been operational for 3 years.
Although the sales have continued ticking over during this time, there is uncertainty as to how things will look post-lockdown, since their product is fundamentally classified as a luxury product. Sue believes their approach is likely to focus on close and upfront communications with their clients in order to re-assess their needs, and the ways in which Opari can adapt to the market changes.
A firm believer in authentic marketing, Sue concentrates on sharing happy snaps of their satisfied customers and believes this has helped spread the word about Opari. They have also made use of Influencers to help promote their brand, which they have found to be most effective, and has resulted in certain items selling out within the day. Promotions have also been useful in boosting certain posts to select target markets and the team have found that when it comes to online marketing the opportunities have been almost endless! With these procedures already in place, it is anticipated they will continue to add value to their brand.
Since the inception of Lockdown, Sue feels she’s experienced a new freedom to explore other areas of her life. She has found much more time, to just live ‘in the moment’, without feeling the constant pressure to be somewhere or meet a deadline. It’s given her a space in which she can be more productive and spend more quality and in-depth time focusing on, and exploring specific goals and options she had put off for so long.
Sue says: “ I have also been reading my Bible more and really digging into the Scriptures. I haven’t worn any make-up! I have not had many skin breakouts whereas previously I used to struggle with my skin. So I believe that not being outside or wearing any make-up, has really revitalized my skin. I also find it quite convenient that many skin care brands have adopted the online approach and have found it to be super beneficial to me”.
With access to so many different forms of online exercising options, Sue has been extremely active, and feels more in control of her eating habits, since there’s no chance of a quick KFC burger in the drive-through when she’s feeling peckish. Sue plans her meals better and has more time to concentrate on healthy eating options.
Some of the more random things that Sue has learnt during this time, is to assemble a lawnmower, and has also got her hands grimy in the garden (which was a first for her).
In summary, Sue says: “I think Lockdown has forced me to be more in touch with people and their situations. I’ve also become more aware and supportive of small businesses, buying from them, and supporting them wherever I can, which for me is a huge change, since previously, that was not really a priority to me”.
About the future, Sue has this to say: “I do believe some things will change. I expect that I will spend more time with friends and family and go on more hikes. The more superficial elements of my day or rather the ‘noise’, has already quietly disappeared and been replaced with a richer and deeper understanding of life, which I most definitely wish to pursue as a permanent lifestyle”.