Darling spoke to Sam Halligan, Talor Hanson, and Molly Nathan, three dynamic youngsters in their early twenties who have had to change their plans thanks to COVID-19.
Business has made its way out of Silicon Valley, with thousands of entrepreneurs and companies pivoting their ideas to fit a post-pandemic target market. Ideas for new approaches to video games, tech companies, freshly brewed coffee, or taxi services are being dreamt up constantly. A lot of us have wanted to follow in the footsteps of Jack Dorsey and propose a brand new social network.
Though the days where inventing the personal computer, mobile phone, or, better yet, a paper mill, are long gone, and though it’s still early days for Sam, Talor, and Molly, their business models are just as promising. Find out what inspired, and what brought into life, a successful pivot.
Sam Halligan – Samuel Lloyd & Co
“As the owner of a niche classic car business, who focuses on sourcing and relocating the Land Rover marque from Europe to a worldwide audience, the thought of a worldwide shutdown, filled me with dread,” says Sam Halligan, founder of Samuel Lloyd & Co.
On the morning of March 10th, I was en route to London Gatwick’s airport, bound for Barcelona. Just a rather usual Tuesday morning, reminiscing about a business dinner I had the night before with two Americans who had flown in from Virginia. What a meeting I’m thinking, this could really open some doors for us, and what a coincidence we managed to catch these guys the one night they’re in town.
That anecdotal tale seems a world away now, as by March 15th Spain was on a nationwide lockdown and I managed unwittingly to get one of the last flights out.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m on a sales call with my team, head in my hands, thinking how the heck are we going to get out of this. I distinctly remember receiving an email from my business partner with the SUBJECT: SLC temp closure.
For any entrepreneur, the word “closure” just isn’t in our vocabulary. The journey to run your own business is all about agility, freethinking and the idea that the status quo is to be constantly challenged. So to suddenly be told I could no longer leave my home, travel to my warehouse in York, and more importantly not travel to continental Europe in search of the next holy grail of Land Rover, was shattering.
It felt like everything we had worked so hard for was suddenly being stripped away from us. However, I’m not one to give up. We knew what we couldn’t do. We were unsure of what we could do. I’m a strong believer that change is our only constant. Even in a crisis there’s a silver lining. So long as you can adapt and be creative.
Extending the service
For now, we have pivoted to selling ‘Fast Moving” cars for the buyer to build upon as opposed to selling our ‘A list’ refurbished classics and have also decided to start a sisal automotive mat business named ‘Sisalmore’.
The commodity of time is the one we have more of. So with time to develop a product, more eyes on the internet, and hopefully discerning consumers at home working out how to spend their money and improve what they have around them. Beautifully crafted sets of sisal mats akin to what you would find in a 60s automobile, to accompany a vintage or modern Land Rover feels like a winning formula. People matter more than ever right now, so the fact that they will be ethically sourced, fair trade and help support a rural village community in India. Certainly feels like the right place to be.
When Talor Hanson’s plans were put on hold she took to Tarot Card reading
It had been just under two years since my graduation; I was cruising comfortably with the belief that I had plenty of time to work out what I wanted to do with my life. I was putting my first class honours degree in psychology to use by working with children at a London-based zoo. I’d also got myself some back-stage technician work at Kingston’s famous Rose Theatre. And on top of all that, I had just started to branch into the film industry, assistant-producing on projects ranging from music videos to big-brand commercials. Each job I had felt like another avenue I could explore, and totally at my leisure all the while.
Then COVID-19 struck. The zoo was shuttered up, the Rose’s curtains came down, and all the directors in the film industry were forced to scream “cut!”. As the news reels blared, any impressions I had of my career prospects were shattered. How are theatres going to stay afloat when they will only be able to sell 50% of their seats under new social distancing laws? How are extracurricular centres going to handle these policies while working with huge groups of school children? Will the arts industry get the funding it needs when focus inevitably remains on “more essential” areas of the economy?
For the love of magic
I distracted myself from this existential crisis by delving into a skill I had always wanted to learn: tarot reading. I’d loved magic and mysticism ever since I was a child, and that love really blossomed around the age of 18. Since then, I’d amassed a collection of tarot decks, and now I actually had the time to properly learn the craft. I made myself a schedule, getting up every day at 8am so I could dedicate the next few hours to studying two or three cards in as much depth as possible. Giving my first reading to another person felt like taking an exam after so much work, but I was thrilled with the results – the accuracy of the reading was truly incredible! Furthermore, it came as a surprise that having your cards read can actually be very therapeutic. If my psychology degree taught me anything, it is that having a safe space to talk through one’s fears and anxieties will always be essential. If you feel you are in need of such a space, check out my website and let me help you in this magical and unique way!
In these unprecedented times, we’ve come to appreciate life’s little pleasures more than ever. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Molly Nathan, a recent Philosophy and Politics graduate the University of Leeds, has started her own business, delivering these little pleasures to people’s doorsteps all over London. Her food subscription business The Social Distancing Kitchen has been up and running since the end of March 2020 and has been a roaring success. The Social Distancing Kitchen provides gorgeous, homecooked meals delivered to your door. The power of social media has helped them gain thousands of supporters, and they operate via a subscription service or one-off deliveries, so whether you want the week off cooking or just the night, they have you covered. Their treat boxes of sweet and savoury grazing platters have also been a massive hit. What is even sweeter? 15% of the proceeds go directly to Women’s Aid. Vegan options will be added to the mix from January 2021.
If your career plans have been put on hold and you’ve changed mid-stream please get in touch with us. Must be 25 years old or under.
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