London entrepreneur pivots interiors service business to produce protective face masks

blank

London-based seamstress Larysa Kucak vows Covid-19 has changed her business for the better after the pandemic forced her to change her business model to stay afloat.

According to recent statistics, more than £9.5bn has now been paid out by the government to support over 750,000 businesses, many of which are unable to operate whist the country remains in lockdown. Thanks to the necessary extension of restrictive measures, it is highly likely that a significant proportion of these businesses will have to fold.

The greatest challenge for many small business owners has been to find a way to ensure their survival once the crisis is over. With huge restrictions on interaction currently in place, they have been forced to rethink. This has involved expanding their offerings and taking their businesses online – something now referred to as ‘pivoting’.

Seamstress Larysa Kucak, and owner of Cushions & Creations, today told how the key has been to not “paralyse herself into inaction by overthinking”. Larysa was used to completing large orders that were primarily carried out in her studio, once lockdown started, business as usual suddenly stopped.

Keen to pivot through the change, Larysa decided to make protective masks that would not only provide her a vital stream of income, but would also help with the crisis support efforts too.

She said: “I was struggling with nothing purposeful to do at home, so when my godmother, who is a nurse, said her department were in desperate need of fabric masks, I made her some. It felt great to have a use again so I kept it going, selling them to the public in order to also raise the funds to keep going for the hospital. This really kicked off far more than I could have ever expected.

“I had to be agile to change, I quickly updated my new website and set up a webshop to sell the masks. I’ve been keeping my social media channels updated and also, found that spark that I had lost. I have gone from offering a service to products. While I will return to sewing when it is safe to reopen the studio, I like having this shop on the side and will keep it open, broadening the products that I sell.”

Rather than letting the fear of closure stop her, Larysa Kucak used it to branch out into an area she had not tried before. The key, she advises, is to not get overwhelmed by the bigger picture: “Don’t let your worries or thoughts stop you. Just try. Start. Go for it.”

Cushions and Creations is a client of JFPR Consulting.