6 June 2020
Unsplash © Kelly Sikkema

12 creative freelancers pivoting amid lockdown

COVID-19 is forcing freelancers to adapt quickly to change and rethink their business models, their skills or even create new initiatives to manage and thrive in these new circumstances. Maddyness has selected some of these freelancers pivoting amid lockdown and shares their journeys.

? Based in Putney, Vittoria Veltri – who usually teaches cooking classes face to face and whose business relies heavily on tourism – created cooking classes via Zoom where she teaches kids rainbow pasta making. She also delivers glass jars with the pre-measured ingredients and has created a Whatsapp group for her growing community.

? Emma York, freelance consultant and owner of Fresh Approach Digital in West Sussex has experienced a loss of income. Some of her clients paused activity to scale back their marketing spend while others requested more help. To adapt to the climate of uncertainty Emma uses new techniques to upgrade the level of service for existing clients and build awareness for new potential ones. Tools like Loom, Messenger Rooms, Instagram Lives, webinars and virtual meetups have been essential in helping her to stay connected and productive.

? Jay, who’s been made redundant from a large bank created his online learning platform uAcademy, which helps him pay his bills and survive lockdown. The situation and long hardworking hours helped his business grow to a point where he’s earning the same amount of money as before.

? Juliette Mullen, Mental Resilience Coach and Therapist, used to work for a global aviation company but had to quickly change her role after losing her contract. So she founded the RISING Fierce movement to guide women to let go of the past and heal so that they can focus on their life to lead happier lives, relationships and become successful. Also, she launched a book on overcoming adversity “I Fly: True Stories of Overcoming Adversity”.

? Kirsty Mac is a freelancer – business sorter outerer and good deed doer – who has pivoted a gazillion times before starting a new online course called Online Retreat, launching a podcast with a friend and speaking at different online events.

? Emma Williams is a talented designer who hasn’t found any work during the lockdown and was unable to rely on help from the government. With her two business partners Nikki Lyle and Claire Medcalf, they created a project called Post Quarantine — letters to open when this is all over, an invitation to write to your future self — take time out, reflect on how you’re feeling right now, and look forward to better days beyond COVID-19. It’s open to everyone, a chance to get creative and feature in an exhibition in the future.

? Burlesque dancer Sapphira (Priscilla Silcock) created a virtual event on World Burlesque Day, attended by the burlesque community across the world to showcase their passion and share their stories of what Burlesque means to them. On the day, the dancers could attend dance tutorials, performances and interviews through virtual costume tours and makeup tutorials.

? Mirela Sula is the founder of Global Woman and has created the Global Woman Lobby, which has gained over 3,000 members from 38 countries across the world in the first week since launch during the pandemic. The online platform enables daily virtual events, training and networking to connect businesswoman where they can interact and support each other during these very uncertain times.

? London-based photographer Graeme Purdy is usually travelling around the world photographing wildlife and specialises in close-encounter photography of some of the world’s most dangerous animals. During lockdown, he’s been photographing British wildlife, particularly foxes, for a new photo project.

? Johanna Elizabeth, a photographer specialising in boudoir and beauty launched a photoshoot fundraiser wherein she will provide a luxury photoshoot experience, normally worth £250, for a special price of just £99. 100% of this fee goes to the Portsmouth Hospitals Thank You Appeal. Johanna’s fundraiser has been officially backed and supported by the charity, and it’s her hope that it will help to raise hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds to support wellbeing, buy supplies and fund welfare initiatives needed by the Trust’s staff over the coming weeks and months.

? Not Just Nibbles, created by Danielle amid lockdown is selling cooking kits for kids and and a one-off product inspired by children creating rainbows up and down the country — rainbow pasta cooking kit. 10% of the profits go to the NHS and they receive a pop-up card craft to send to key workers during this difficult time.

? Merje Shaw has been freelancing for a while at a fintech but due to the virus, she ended up restarting her own online plant store with a more eco-friendly approach.