Good-bye 2020 – Hello 2021…

Saying it’s been a strange year is a bit of an understatement – it has been a year of high emotions and uncertainty. 

Who’d have thought this time last year when we were all murmuring “this is our year” anyone could have predicted what 2020 had in store for us.

2020 started for TJB with painting and prepping our new workshop.  Regular visits to the Jewellery Quarter, buying tools and equipment, fitting units, making bespoke jewellery benches, planning workshops, photographing samples and updating the website.

After lots of preparation, with support from Tanya King and Neil Bachelor at the Chamber of Commerce, we were finally ready to open our doors to The Jewellery Bench on March 28th 2020, or so we thought!

March 23rd Boris announced that we were going into a “lockdown” – naively we thought it would only last a few weeks, how wrong we were…

Our open day and celebrations were put on hold. 

So for the first few weeks we did nothing, we waited… then realised that ‘rona’, as we fondly referred to the virus, was going nowhere. 

This was our year, what should we do?  Sit and do nothing or face it head on? 

We put on our ‘BIG girl pants’ and ordered Perspex, along with the rest of the world, Michelle and her dad constructed screens, one of our students made us customised masks and Andrea ordered copious amounts of hand sanitiser – with signs and risk assessments in place, we were ready.

We opened the doors and welcomed our first lot of students. 

Reduced numbers, wearing masks, sanitising, social distancing and a stringent cleaning regime in place – this was our ‘new normal’

“It’s ok – by May half term it will all be over” we said to each other – you’d think by now we’d know better!

In spite of it all we have welcomed many students into our fabulous (well we think it is) workshop, both familiar faces and new ones. 

In between lockdowns we have squeezed in one off workshops and celebrated special birthdays, remembered loved ones and made memories whilst sharing our knowledge – doing what we love best.

We have run our weekly workshops with our regular students, those of whom have formed part of our ‘bubble’.  We would like to thank them for their support and for bearing with us during these crazy times.

We’ve learnt how to ‘zoom’ and ‘hangout’ whilst educating ourselves in the world of social media, learning from the best – The M Guru and Stories Marketing. 

So, on reflection, 2020 you’ve not been that bad after all but let’s hope 2021 holds less surprises (after all Andrea needs her holiday!)

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