As a small business we thought it would be great for you, our community, to get to know some of the team here at Thought.

Meet Elaine, our freelance designer who has been working with us since 2014. She lives in the lovely Walton-on-the-Naze, on the North Essex coast.

What have you been up to during lockdown? Have you started trying your hand at anything new?

My lockdown highlight has definitely been my vegetable patch, as has been the (almost) completion of my MA in Creative Writing from UEA. 

Without the enforced time out, and having to stay in one place, (rather than the usual back and forth to London or Norwich), I’ve had time to grow an array of vegetables from seed. Spinach, broccoli, broad beans, lettuce, radishes, potatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, squash, pak choi, chard, courgettes. I’m working on a second sowing at the moment, of more courgettes, aubergine, cauliflower, swede, more lettuce, cucumbers. Not having really done this before, it’s mostly an experiment, and there has been a few failures along the way – carrots and french beans, as well as not quite understanding how huge some things will grow. 

Elaine in her Greta Organic Cotton Midi Dress

Any tips for growing super veggies? 

I’m growing everything organically, so I’ve had to find ways of dealing with the pests without chemicals. Sprays made of water and soap, and an infusion of chilli help, being careful not to go anywhere near my ladybird, aphid-eating soldiers with it. The idea is to keep the good insects to deal with the ones that eat your veg.

It’s fun to get everyone involved. My partner John built the raised bed from railway sleepers, and we shared the heavy digging and planting. Jeff our chocolate labrador has supervised the whole thing. 

What have you been cooking?

Cooking vegetables straight from the garden is a pleasure I didn’t know existed. I go vegetable shopping daily in the garden now instead of the supermarket, and pick what is ready, and that is what we eat. A favourite has been my spinach and feta rolls, with my homemade tzatziki, which remind me of past yoga retreats in Santorini. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go back there, but another upside of lockdown, is that my yoga teachers from there, based in Bath (@bathyogastudio), have been doing Zoom classes, so I’ve been able to reconnect with them. 

What’s keeping you grounded? 

Lockdown has on the whole been a pleasure for me – I’m by the sea with my partner and my dog. I have no real complaints.  I do feel a bit guilty about that, as I know so many people out there are struggling with loneliness, no outdoor space, home-schooling, or domestic abuse. 

 What are you missing the most during these times?

What I’ve missed out on, I’ve made up for in other ways, and I like the simple ‘good life’. However, I do really miss being able to give my friends a big hug, seeing family, and shopping without a mask. Oh, and I think I have Zoom fatigue – it’s a great tool, but the nuances of small talking body language just isn’t there. 

Elaine in her Simonia Hemp Striped Tee

What’s your favourite piece from our SS20 Collection?

My Thought clothing pieces have been so well worn, as they always are. The Greta Organic Cotton Midi Dress is among my favourites, and has seen me through Spring, the cooler days of summer, and no doubt through the autumn. 

It joins all my other Thought denim and chambray pieces from previous years, which I wear in a constant rotation. I think they get better with age (just like me!). I can’t get enough of a striped T-shirt, and this one Simonia Hemp Striped Tee fits so well, and washes like a dream.

Elaine in her Greta Organic Cotton Midi Dress

 I love Dashka slacks, and have several pairs – they are so comfortable for working from home as well as practising yoga in. 

Finally, Thought’s new range of home and beauty products are gorgeous. I keep the Wilder Botanics Organic Cleansing Skin Tonic

on my desk and put a few drops into my glass of water while I’m writing, and the Mona Living Organic Brightening Facial Serum is a must.