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A Year Since Lockdown - Danielle Holmes

By Danielle Holmes who is a director of Black Nova Designs Ltd based in Wiltshire. This business provides a plethora of services to both business and individuals including IT services such as website design, website hosting, PC/MAC and laptop repairs through to qualified wifi optimisation.

March 23 marks a year since lockdown began and the reality of the pandemic hit the UK. What are your memories of that day? 

As a business we already had a large number of processes in place to enable staff to work from home.  

We knew the day after the announcement we would be busy, we had already established we could stay open but juggling home schooling and childcare was not something we had truly considered until it happened.

I remember most from that day the explanations we had to make to our two children, with two 8 year olds in the house we had to explain the new rules to them – it was a very difficult time for them.

Thinking back, how did you anticipate the way forward for your business over those first few days? 

The first few days were surreal to be honest, we were open but no longer from the office but from home, it was like going back in time.

The business started from home originally and grew to need an office space, bringing it back home was a very strange feeling.

We had a team meeting the first day and we are very lucky to have a very supportive team and everyone knew the implications but we briefed everyone that we had enough work to keep everyone in a job working from home for the foreseeable.

What actions did you take to save/change/pivot/support your business? 

As most of our business was already based online, the biggest pivot for us was the way we managed our projects. 

Our team discuss ideas, concepts and problems together, the office is usually buzzing with positivity so for that to go was the biggest change for us all. 

We had to work on a way that meant we didn’t lose that, we needed to look after our own mental health and our staff. 

It was a challenging time for us all, we may have had all the systems and access in place but that was only a small part of keeping a team together. 

Name some positive outcomes of the last year for your business? 

Our business has increased, we have supported more clients than ever before – it’s been a true privilege to pivot websites for online ordering, repairing laptops for home learning and so much more.

We hired more staff! Yes, I know it still surprises us even to this day, but we hired two full time members of staff in May 2020, this was a pivotal point for us as a company and a team.

Late in 2020 we had the confirmation that we could increase our office space, we moved from our first ever small office room to a new room, in the same building but double the size we had before, this is to accommodate all staff and allow space to continue to grow and support as many new and current clients as possible. 

Name some positive outcomes for you personally over the last year?

Personally, my mindset has been tested beyond belief. I am naturally positive and self-motivated individual, but this has been hard.

The first positive would be that we all survived the year, our family is still together, happy and healthy and for me that’s a huge personal achievement.

Another personal achievement, that does also apply to the business is that we have been able to support our staff with a steady job all year. That feeling of pride and accomplishment may never go away when we are able to support not just our families but the team's families with their jobs and incomes.

Last but not least, this past year I have learnt that I can eat and drink more than my own body weight in food and alcohol!

Surely this isn’t just me, lockdown has not been kind to the waistline but pretty sure I have hit world records of how many Doritos you can eat in a day.

What do you most look forward to doing IN BUSINESS as we slowly move out of lockdown? 

In business we have so many very exciting projects coming up, new Wifi installs, some of the biggest website projects we have ever had and so much more.

We hope to use our new office space to create a WordPress training space for so many that struggle to update their sites or just simply want to learn more these will be for you, we have lots more to prepare including working out prices and numbers but it is on the horizon. 

What do you most look forward to doing IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE as we slowly move out of lockdown?

Everything! The freedom, honestly, as much as I love the house, the kids, working and the office we ALL need some down time. 

I cannot wait to see friends, family, go swimming, take the kids to the zoo, have a date night with Kyle (co director and husband) and not all necessarily in that order. 

We have taken so many things for granted, that suddenly changed overnight – truly I never personally realised the impact of all the things we used to get up to, and how much they benefit our lives, and mental health.

I can not wait to have in person meetings with family, friends we have missed so many milestones for my nephew as well as my sister getting married and not being able to celebrate, not including the birthdays. 

Name one person who has been a lockdown hero for you over the last year? 

As cliché as it sounds, Kyle, my husband has been my rock. 

We have had some huge ups and downs this past year; it has been hard. Running a business with your husband is incredibly rewarding but it is far from easy. 

Every morning I wake up feeling lucky to be with someone that not only loves me but our kids more than anything – the support, companionship, and daily laughs together is worth so much. 

He is our real-life hero, and we are very lucky to have each other.

Name one business which has been heroic for you or your community over the last year? 

There are so many incredible people in our lives that without them we wouldn’t be where we are today and always feel terrible just naming one as there are so many heroic business’s that support us, but as also I have to mention our amazing business coach Tara Punter PR, her daily motivation and positivity makes ‘scrolling’ social media so much nicer. 

Tara’s daily reminders, images and all-around positivity lifts your spirits when ever you need it, not just as a paid coach but also if you just follow her online you will see – the impact of smiling and see the positive in every day really does change your success and life.

And finally: 

I would just like to take this time to wish everyone a happy 2021, lets hope the summer brings more positivity and stability for us all.

For more information visit

Black Nova Designs

Black Nova Designs

Black Nova Designs is a professional, affordable, I.T. company.

Redman Road, Porte Marsh Ind Est , Calne, Wiltshire, SN11 9PL

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