There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected every single one of us slightly differently. For some, it’s been a time of worry and financial hardship which will take time to recover from. Our front line workers have been placed in real danger carrying out jobs that enable society to carry on. Other people have found that life has remained virtually unchanged, apart from not seeing loved ones. For many parents, life has become a juggling act of work, home schooling and entertaining bored children!

What better time to catch up with Emma Batcheler, founder of the equestrian gift box company Hooves & Love. Not only is she running her business and looking after her kids, she’s also acing social media, spreading happiness and planning for the future! Let’s see what life’s been like for Emma at Hooves & Love since lockdown living began…

What were your initial feelings when the lockdown was announced in March?

At first, the lockdown hit the business really hard. It was the week running up to Mother’s Day which would usually see me inundated with orders. Sadly, it pretty much dried up within a day of lockdown and went very quiet. It felt very uneasy as there was so much that we just didn’t know about it all. I had my children with me and that meant home schooling them for the foreseeable future. Given that they are very young children, it seemed a huge task trying to manage it all.

Initially it was shocking, because very suddenly the normality which we are used to and can plan for was turned upside down. It took a few days just to be able to let it all sink in and think about what to do and how to manage it. But since then I have literally taken each day as it comes. There have been ups and downs, but business has picked up again which I’m very appreciative for, and we seem to be getting used to this kind of normal.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed your plans for 2020?

I had planned to get Hooves & Love out on the road more in 2020 and head to some events, but clearly that’s all cancelled. Instead, I’m focusing on what events I’d like to do next year. There’s plenty involved in planning ahead for that. I’m spending time dreaming up new gift boxes to launch later this year and new products to be added to stock. Plus, thankfully, people are still keen to send other people gifts online so I’m trying to ensure I provide lots of options for that! I’ve also been working as hard as I can to support my local NHS charity and the workers at the nearby hospital. 

What does a typical working day look like for you now? 

There isn’t one! No day is the same right now as it depends on school work, internet reliability, children’s moods and more… I have to take every little snippet of time that I can when the children are focused on schoolwork or some other activity. Once they are in bed, I can normally get a little more done!

What have you done to unwind during lockdown? 

I’ve been very lucky in that I have still been able to go and do my horses through this time. That’s always been my favourite place to relax and unwind. Helpfully, I also tend to do most of my thinking there and get most of my ideas on horseback. I’ve been enjoying wandering around the countryside having lovely hacks and just spending time with the horses.

Have you got a tip or two for how people can stay motivated at the moment? 

I think my biggest tip to stay motivated and positive is to be kind to yourself. It’s OK to not be able to fit everything in in one day. Some days will go wrong and it’s a case of writing that day off and focusing on the next. Taking a day at a time has been a big thing for me, because I’ve not been able to plan my days and weeks ahead and so I just do what I can each day. I also have a gratitude journal which you introduced me to, Tara! That has been invaluable in helping my mindset automatically think of the positives. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a return to normality soon and our loved ones staying healthy and happy.

Emma has created an amazing business with Hooves & Love, enabling people to find the perfect horsey gift at the click of a mouse. Take a closer look at the gift boxes here.